Officers cite drivers suspected of endangering
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera Police investigate the scene of an accident on Howard Road Friday afternoon.
The Madera police traffic division conducted a targeted traffic enforcement event — or reckless driving crackdown — over the weekend and wrote 20 citations to drivers found to be driving recklessly, speeding, doing burnouts or impeding traffic by cruising slowly.
Three cars were impounded and towed. Four cars were found to have modified mufflers or exhaust systems, and were ticketed and referred to the state auto emissions referee center for inspection before they can be legally driven again.
The targeted crackdown was the result of the Madera Police Department Hot Spot Traffic Tracker, which tracks and records complaints.
The areas of Town and Country Park, Madera District Fairgrounds, and the Home Depot and Sonic Drive-in are known to be some of the hot spots of reckless and stunt driving. Police officials said the focus on reckless driving enforcement will continue over the summer, or whenever the racing and stunt driving is reported.
A driver found to be under the influence of alcohol crashed his vehicle into a parking lot on Howard Road at about 5 p.m. on Friday and then fled from police. Andrew Valdez was arrested for felony DUI, hit and run, and fleeing police.
Valdez hit a sign and a parked car near Taco Bell on Howard Road, and then sideswiped another vehicle. He was followed by witnesses as he drove away from the crash sites and was arrested near south Pine Street.
Police encourage residents to report street racing, reckless, aggressive, or stunt driving to the Madera police dispatch number, 675-4220, at anytime of the day or night.
Also over the weekend, the California Highway Patrol reported eight arrests for DUI, but no major collisions or fatalities.
A total of two arrests for DUI were made by the Madera Police Department over the weekend, and two other persons who were found to be heavily under the influence of alcohol near their cars were arrested for public intoxication.