WPD Special Assignments Attempt to Reduce Accidents
WICHITA, Kan, - A violent crash almost two weeks ago in west Wichita left three young people dead. Zachary Taylor, Jake Hallacy and Emily Phillips all died. Juan Pablo Gandar-Rodela, 31, is charged with second degree murder and DUI.
"People have it in their minds that they can do what they damn well please, but you may cause an accident," said Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams.
Any traffic death disturbs Williams. Last year, while the number of fatalities went up, the number of tickets and DUIs went down. The chief ordered special assignments to catch speeders and drunk drivers.
"That is our number one goal is to prevent accidents," said Williams. "We are not here to make quotas, we are here to prevent and reduce accidents, simple as that."
So far this year 15 assignments have netted more than 1,400 tickets.
Overall the number of tickets have increased by more than 12%.
In 2013 Wichita saw 18 fatal accidents that killed 21 people between January and July. So far this year, there have been 14 fatal accidents with 20 deaths.
While Chief Williams says his officers are doing the best they can, it's ultimately up to drivers.
"Get people to realize they are part of the solution," he said.