This is part two of a two-part series on the rise of injury accidents in Mission Viejo. Read part one here.
While development east of town has led to more cars on Mission Viejo roads, there are also fewer tickets being issued for hazardous driving.
Since 2004, tickets for hazardous driving like speeding, drunk driving and running red lights have fallen by 64 percent, according to statistics from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Meanwhile injury accidents are on the rise.
One reason for this is the high turnover rate for Mission Viejo deputies, OCSD Captain Chris Wilson said.
"Our experience rate… is less than we used to be," he said. "We have a greater number of vacancies due to retirements, transfers."
That means motorcycle deputies who typically hand out traffic tickets are handling other calls for service, Wilson said.
"Their focus is taken away from the hazardous citations to what are deemed non-hazardous or other citations," he said.
Another factor is that Mission Viejo has four of the department's motorcycle training officers, Wilson said. These officers take three weeks off from their regular duties to train new motorcycle deputies.
And that training takes longer than it used to, Wilson said. In the past, new deputies received 12 weeks of training. Now training is a five-month process, he said.
Meanwhile the number of injury accidents in Mission Viejo has risen from 165 in 2009 to 200 in 2012. Mid-year crash statistics are on pace to exceed that number in 2013.In the first part of this series, the higher traffic volume caused by development east of Mission Viejo is examined. Read part one here.