The primary purpose of the Traffic Unit is to provide for the safety of motorists and pedestrians utilizing public and private conveyances in the City of Scotts Valley. To achieve safer streets, officers utilize a three pronged approach known as the "Three E’s" of traffic safety; education, enforcement and engineering. Speed trailer deployment, DUI and Driver License Checkpoints, and warnings issued during enforcement stops are some of the means officers utilize to educate the public regarding unsafe driving practices or conditions. Officers take enforcement action when unsafe conditions require such measures.
The Scotts Valley Police Department Traffic Unit is currently staffed with one motor sergeant and two motor officers.
We conduct DUI/Drivers License checkpoints throughout the city, throughout the year. Unlicensed drivers are many more times as likely to be involved in an accident as a licensed driver.
Traffic Unit Motorcycles
The Traffic Unit currently uses three 2007 BMW RTP1200 Police motorcycles (provided through an OTS Grant). These motorcycles are specially designed for traffic enforcement. Motorcycles are especially effective due to their mobility in heavy traffic and are equipped with traffic radar. The cordless, handheld Stalker II radar units and Stalker moving radars were provided through an OTS Grant as well, and are highly accurate and very effective.
*DID YOU KNOW?* Moving radar on our police motorcycles can track up to four targets simultaneously, both ahead of AND behind the officer. The radar will determine if the target is moving toward or away and the speed of the vehicle regardless if the police motorcycle is in motion or stationary. These are the most advanced law enforcement radar systems available for motorcycles.
Motor Officer Training
A motorcycle officer is a unique position. Riding motorcycles is
inherently dangerous. Becoming a motor officer is an exceptional
point in a police career. Scotts Valley Police Department requires
applicants already have an M1 (motorcycle) license endorsement
and have three years experience as a Scotts Valley Police
Department officer prior to applying. Once selected into the motor
unit, officers must complete pre-training prior to going to their
official training. After pre-training, officers must complete a two
week P.O.S.T. approved motor officer school at the Alameda County
This two week course is an intensive program that is both exhausting and rewarding. It gives motor officers the fundamentals they need to survive as a solo Motor Officer. After the two week school, motor officers complete a two week field training program where they ride with an experienced motor officer. This is the time where they learn to apply the fundamentals they learned in school to the field. Altogether, officers spend six weeks in training before they are able to ride solo as a motor officer.
Scotts Valley Police Department Motor Officers conduct quarterly training after that. This ensures that basic skills are continually honed. This training day usually consists of practicing in cone patterns followed by qualification. Officers also practice tandem riding in the city and on highways. This is a highly specialized skill that requires a lot of practice.
You may see Scotts Valley motor officers in groups driving through parks or outside of Scotts Valley. We go to different areas with different terrain. Being able to do a figure 8 on a flat road is completely different than doing a figure 8 on a 25% grade. All of this training ensures the Scotts Valley Police Motor Officers are exceptional riders.
Bicycles MUST follow the same rules of the road as vehicles. While riding during darkness, a
headlight and reflectors are required by law. Bicyclists can be cited for violations just like
FACT: The use of a properly worn bicycle helmet would reduce the number of head injuries by
80% in bicycle accidents!!
Modern technological advances have greatly increased safety in vehicles. However,
the proper use of seatbelts is still the most effective in reducing injuries in the event
of a collision. The proper way to wear a shoulder harness seatbelt is to have the
shoulder strap OVER the shoulder resting about halfway from your neck to the edge
of your shoulder. The belt should be snug, but not restricting or causing discomfort.
FACT: Did you know if you wear the shoulder strap of your seatbelt UNDER your arm you could be cited for improper seatbelt use?
Car seats are required for children under 6 years old OR under 60 lbs. The car seat must also
be properly installed for it to be effective and legal.
If you are involved in a collision where the airbags have deployed, the vehicle is considered unsafe to drive. If you are involved in a frontal collision where the airbags have NOT deployed, there is a chance they may deploy at a random time. For your safety, always have your vehicle inspected by a licensed professional after a collision and before driving it.
A vehicle accident can be a traumatic event. The best thing to do is stay calm and not get into a confrontation with the other party. After an accident occurs, determine if you or your occupants are injured, then determine if anyone in the other party is injured. If ANYONE is injured, call 9-1-1 immediately. Be ready to give your location and a description of the injuries.
If there are no injuries, you can exchange information with the other party. State Law requires certain information be exchanged IMMEDIATELY after a collision. Your insurance company will need it.
State law requires accidents resulting in more than $750 damage to be reported to the DMV. The DMV requires an SR 1 form to be filed with them within 10 days. Failure to file the SR 1 form could result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Many insurance companies do this for you. Be sure and ask your insurance company if they will be filing the SR1 form on your behalf. If they do not, click http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr1.pdf for the downloadable SR1 form from DMV.
Nobody enjoys being stopped by the police. We understand it is embarrassing and uncomfortable. However, it is a necessity for public safety that Police Officers stop those who are violating the law. Traffic laws were established to provide safety for everyone. Even if you are the one being stopped, hopefully you will correct your driving habits. This may save your life or someone else’s life.
If you are stopped DO the following:
Pull safely to the RIGHT side of the road
Remain seated with your seatbelt on
Roll down the driver AND passenger windows
Turn your radio and vehicle off
Wait for the officer with your hands in easy view
Do NOT do these things:
Get out of the car without being instructed to do so
Begin looking for paperwork before the officer tells you to
Become argumentative or hostile
Throw items inside or outside of your vehicle
Remember, the citation is simply a promise to appear in court. If you do not agree with the citation you will be given a court date where a judge will decide the outcome.
The Scotts Valley Police Department Traffic Unit has one MPH matrix
messaging radar trailer that was provided through an OTS grant. This
top-of-the-line unit has the ability to display hundreds of messages as
wellas speed monitoring. We also have an older radar trailer, also
purchased through an OTS grant. If you feel that speed is an issue in your
neighborhood or in any other area of the city, a radar trailer can be placed
there. Often times, motorists don’t realize how fast they are traveling.
Radar trailers do NOT take pictures of motorists. They simply advise
motorists of their speed and the speed they should be traveling. Due to
natural hazards such as narrow roadways or soft shoulders, the radar
trailers cannot be placed everywhere. If you would like an area to be
considered for radar trailer placement, please call Sergeant Jayson
Rutherford, Traffic Unit at 831-440-5670 ext 171.
Providing a safe commuting environment
It is the sincere desire of the Scotts Valley Police Department's Traffic Unit to provide a safe environment for those who live, work or travel in Scotts Valley. With your cooperation, we can make our community a happy and healthy environment.
For traffic related questions or complaints, please contact Sergeant Pascale Wowak, Traffic Unit at 440-831-5670 ext.151.
Remember – Slow DOWN and Buckle UP!