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Traffic Sting Nets 102 Citations, 75% Going to Out-of-Towners

Thirteen motorcycle police officers flooded Ripon roadways Wednesday and wrote 102 traffic citations to motorists on city streets Wednesday in a city-wide crackdown on violators in the city of some 16,000.

Many of the violators were commuters who use the Ripon service streets on a daily basis on their way home from work, police said.

Officers worked city streets using a state grant that put them out on their assignment from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. with most of the traffic stops involving out-of-town drivers -- 70 percent in fact.

The officers headed by Manteca’s Sgt. Josh Sweeten -- formerly a Ripon officer -- and Sgt. Steve Meece of Ripon also came from Ripon, Tracy, and Lathrop departments.

The highest speed recorded on their radar guns was reportedly on South Jack Tone Road coming into the city at 78 miles per hour -- a costly citation. Two officers surprised unsuspecting drivers on River Road when they split their locations by several hundred yards. Motorists spotted the first officer and slowed, not expecting a second traffic officer as they sped up again.

While most citations were written for speed, officers also wrote tickets for other violations including cell phone use, stop signs ignored, seat belts and one woman was pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the street as she was attempting to reach a road by going around a center median.

The motorcycle team also focused on Stockton Avenue near the fire department late in the afternoon where commuters have been known to block traffic and make constant u-turns in the middle of the block pulling over several of the motorists.

The traffic team works all the cities in the county month-by-month in an effort to make drivers more aware of the laws getting them to be more cautious and to slow down.

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