Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams

(Special to AFN)

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams will be making a guest appearance in Ahwatukee Thursday during the last quarterly PD Tukee Talks session of 2018 at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center.

Amid recent alarms raised on social media about car and truck mishaps in Ahwatukee, Phoenix Police data released last week by city Councilman Sal DiCiccio’s office shows that the number of motor vehicle accidents in the community has been relatively steady for the last five years.

But police told DiCiccio’s office that they won’t have data for even the first half of this year till late this year or even next – leading some people to wonder how they can react to trends when they don’t have the information to show one.

Although the department handles crashes, Phoenix Police told DiCiccio’s office that they need to get the data from the Arizona Department of Transportation – which collects reports from all municipal police departments on accidents.

“We only receive data from ADOT twice a year, and it is typically five to six months behind,” a department official said. “We will receive and start scrubbing the first half of 2018 towards the end of the year/early next year.”

But residents concerned about what they perceive as a rising number of accidents and traffic violators in Ahwatukee will have a chance tomorrow, Sept. 27, to bring their concerns right to the city’s top cop.

Police Chief Jeri Williams is the special guest at the final PD Tukee Talks session of the year at 6 p.m. at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, 5001 W. Cheyenne Drive, Ahwatukee.

Additionally, Tukee Talks organizer Tracey Church has lined up Phoenix Police martial arts expert Jui Chiu to give self-defense demonstrations. Chiu was a hit with people who attended a session last year, and Church said she’s bringing him back at the request of some of them.

“Get ready to spend a full hour learning empowering tips on self-defense,” Church said.

The data shows that between 2013 and 2017, the number of accidents annually ranged from 561 in 2015 to 601 in 2013. The total last year was 586, and the grand total for all five years was 2,905.

There was no breakdown of the number of injuries and deaths.

Over the five years, the numbers of different types of accidents also was fairly consistent from year to year with rear-end accidents, “angle accidents” and single-vehicle mishaps accounting for the lion’s share of all mishaps.

There were a total 723 rear-end accidents over the five-year period, 699 angle mishaps and 514 single-vehicle crashes.

The fourth most frequent type involved vehicles making left turns in the path of oncoming cars or trucks, while sideswipes occupied the fifth most common mishap.

There were 97 accidents involving vehicles and bicycles and 48 involving pedestrians.

This month, two fatal accidents occurred in Ahwatukee within 70 minutes of each other, one involving a 70-year-old pedestrian killed trying to cross Ray Road and the other a passenger in a two-car collision that is under investigation for possible impairment of the driver of the car carrying the female victim.

DiCiccio Chief of Staff Sam Stone has requested additional data from police involving the spots in Ahwatukee where the most accidents occurred.

This is in response to numerous social media complaints that a number of crashes in recent weeks have occurred at 48th Street’s intersections with Ray Road and Chandler Boulevard, often involving motorists trying to beat a changing traffic signal.

Speeding also has been a frequent complaint.

At a Tukee Talks session earlier this year, some residents told officers from the South Mountain  Precinct, which has jurisdiction over Ahwatukee, that motorists routinely ignore the 40 mph speed limit on 48th Street.

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