The number of tickets written by CHP officers in Sonoma County dropped  by more than 20 percent and traffic crashes fell by nearly 15 percent last year compared to 2011, according to the latest statistics.

The 27,259 tickets written by the local CHP, which covers Sonoma County except for part of the Sonoma Valley, was down from 2011’s 35, 385, 2010’s 37,003 and 2009’s 37,378.

The local spokesman, CHP Officer Jon Sloat, said he and other CHP officials haven’t been able to pinpoint a specific reason for the drop in tickets.

“The last 10 years, it’s been enforcement, enforcement, enforcement (by the CHP), so maybe that message is finally getting through to people” and they’re driving safer and, thus, avoiding tickets, he said.

He said the widening of Highway 101 in Sonoma County and the removal of distracting construction equipment and K-rails also may have been contributing factors.

Here are other stats for the Sonoma County CHP:

–Of the 27,259 tickets last year, the No. 1 violation cited was speeding at 12,025.

–2,133 crashes last year, down from 2,485 in 2011, 2,405 in 2010 and 2,324 in 2009. Sloat said last year’s crashes might even have been fewer but for a rainy December that sent collisions way up compared to the previous December. Of last year’s crashes, 253 were blamed on DUIs, up from 244 in 2011.

–19 fatalities last year, up from 16 in 2011 but down from 26 in 2010 and 22 in 2009. One of last year’s deaths was blamed on a DUI driver compared to two in 2011, 11 in 2010 and nine in 2009.

–822 injuries last year, up from 787 in 2011. Of last year’s injuries, 149 were blamed on DUIs.

–1,311 DUI arrests last year, up from 1,261 in 2011, and compared to 1,403 in 2010 and 1,537 in 2009.

Here are stats for the Mendocino County CHP:

–772 crashes last year, up from 2011’s 629 and 2010’s 666. Of last year’s crashes, 91 were related to DUIs.

–11 fatalities last year compared to 8 in 2011 and 7 in 2010. Three of last year’s deaths were blamed on DUIs.

–325 DUI arrests compared to 316 in 2011 and 453 in 2010.

Here are the stats for the Lake County CHP:

–545 crashes last year, down from 621 in 2011 and 640 in 2010. Of last year’s crashes, 93 were related to DUIs.

–16 fatalities last year, compared to 13 in 2011 and 14 in 2010. Seven of last year’s deaths were blamed on DUIs.

–224 injuries last year with 51 tied to DUIs.

–232 DUI arrests last year, down from 294 in 2011 and 369 in 2010.


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