Traffic Enforcement Unit
The San Jose Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit is part of the Special Operations Division within the Bureau of Field Operations. It is comprised of one lieutenant, five sergeants and twenty-one motorcycle officers.
The primary duty of the Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) is the enforcement of traffic laws in order to reduce traffic collisions, their resulting injuries, and to facilitate the safe and expedient flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. These efforts result in safer roadways and streets, fewer fatalities, injuries, and reduces property damage. The Unit concentrates its enforcement efforts in the areas with the highest collision rates within the city of San José. These efforts have proven to be effective in reducing the numbers of collisions in the City.
Speed, one of the leading causes of collisions, is enforced through the use of laser and radar devices. Each motorcycle officer is equipped with one of these devices. The Unit also utilizes display trailers in order to combat speeding. Mobile speed display radar trailers are rotated throughout the City to inform motorists of their speeds and serve as an educational tool.
Red light enforcement is conducted with the utilization of red light indicators, also known as "rat boxes," which are located on the backside of signal lights. These devices allow officers to position themselves on the other side of the intersection being enforced. The rat box indicates when the light turns red and enables officers to identify vehicles that have run the red light. This innovation has improved officer safety and the effectiveness of red light running enforcement, without putting officers at risk by eliminating the need to chase-down violators.
The city of San José has received grants through the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to help make the community safer. These grants help fund sobriety checkpoints and distracted driving campaigns. (Link)
(Check the TEU online calendar to see when and where checkpoints are scheduled.)
Grant funding also allowed the Department to purchase a new SJPD DUI command vehicle, and a "crash trailer" (Link) that contains a vehicle in which the driver was killed by a DUI driver (shown below). The crash trailer is used for presentations to high school students regarding the dangers of driving under the influence.
The grants also provide overtime funding for the staffing of DUI saturation patrols, and primary collision factor enforcement.