California Budget Cuts May Impact the Safety of Los Angeles Motorists

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A directive by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordering several state agencies to immediately stop overtime payments, could mean that several essential functions are blocked because of lack of staff to carry them out.  For instance, one of the agencies that will be affected by the budgetary cuts is the California Highway Patrol. The block on overtime will mean that the agency will not be able to spare essential troopers for important accident prevention and safety functions.

That means that you will not see any more California Highway Patrol cars stationed outside construction zones to slow down traffic.  This would constitute a nonemergency function, and will not be eligible for state funds as long as this directive is in effect.  Besides, the California Highway Patrol will not be able to send any of its officers for sobriety checkpoints anywhere in California.  The California Highway Patrol has been doing essential work, conducting drunk driving crackdowns and sobriety checkpoints around California.  With the ban on non-emergency overtime, the agency will not be able to pay additional troopers, who can carry out these essential functions.

Los Angeles car accident lawyers believe the situation could get worse if the directive continues.  The California Highway Patrol says that in the absence of additional staff officers, calls to 911 centers may begin getting delayed.  We could also have fewer California Highway Patrol officers stationed at car safety seat inspection locations.  These are important functions of law enforcement officers, and the budget cuts could impact motorist safety.

The ban on overtime spending is part of the administration’s moves to deal with California's budget crisis.  It's not the first time that essential state spending has been impacted as the government struggles to find ways to respond to its financial crisis.  However, cutting funding to essential programs and placing citizens at risk is hardly the way to deal with California’s economic problems.



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