The Goleta Police Department cited 16 drivers on Wednesday for not yielding to pedestrians at crosswalk locations throughout Goleta.

The Goleta Traffic Unit conducted a pedestrian crosswalk sting operation using a plainclothes deputy to walk across a crosswalk at three locations in the City of Goleta. Uniformed motorcycle deputies then watched for motorists who did not yield the right-of-way to the plainclothes deputy in the crosswalk. The sting lasted 2½ hours.

“Public safety is a priority in Goleta. By using sting operations, we can continue to educate the public on safe driving techniques,” said Vyto Adomaitis, public safety director for the City of Goleta. “Our police department has done an outstanding job in keeping our neighborhoods safe.”

Police hope that by conducting and publicizing these operations on a regular basis, motorists will be more attentive and look for pedestrians.

Deputies focused on two specific vehicle code infractions. The first requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Unmarked crosswalks are the prolongations of curb lines at all intersections. The fine for this violation can be up to $175.

The second law prohibits vehicles from passing a vehicle that has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the street. This offense is especially dangerous because pedestrians are too often lulled into a false sense of security when one vehicle stops for them. The fine for this violation is about $400. The court, however, may modify the actual fine imposed depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the violator’s history.

Additional crosswalk stings will be conducted without notice in the future.

The City of Goleta contracts with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department for police services.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.