Despite the California Highway Patrol reporting a decrease in traffic accidents and deaths statewide since the stay-at-home orders issued in March, there's been a 33 percent increase in fatal crashes in CHP’s local jurisdiction, according to spokesman Roberto Rodriguez.

Since March 19 there have been 12 fatal traffic accidents recorded in Bakersfield and areas of Kern County, Rodriguez said. There were nine during the same time frame in 2019.

“This statistic is a grim reminder of the great responsibility every one of us has behind the wheel, don’t take it lightly!” Rodriguez said in a news release.

Throughout the state there was a 75 percent decrease in crashes from March 19 to April 30, when compared to 2019. There was also an 88 percent reduction in the number of people killed and 62 percent decrease in the number of people injured in crashes, according to CHP.

The number of truck-involved collisions also saw a 60 percent drop, with fatal truck-involved crashes down 88 percent.

The number of DUI arrests made by CHP officers decreased during March and April, from 7,224 in 2019 to 4,223 in 2020, CHP said.

The one metric statewide that saw an increase was citations for speeding in excess of 100 mph. Between March 19 and April 30, CHP officers issued 2,738 citations in this area, an increase of 46 percent from last year.

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