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24 Motorists Cited During Pedestrian Crosswalk Operation

Santa Barbara Police Department targets intersections where citizens have had trouble crossing

Members of the Traffic Section of the Santa Barbara Police Department handed out 24 citations to motorists who failed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk during an enforcement operation Tuesday morning.

A plainclothes officer worked with motorcycle officers to hand out the citations at two intersections. In the operation, the officer in street clothes started to cross the street, giving approaching motorists ample time to stop. If the motorists failed to yield, uniformed officers stopped them and issued citations.

The operation was conducted where residents have complained they had trouble crossing between the white lines: Calle Palo Colorado and State Street, and Milpas and Ortega streets.

A pedestrian is responsible for making sure the motorist has ample time to recognize their presence. Once that is done, and they are in the crosswalk, vehicles have to yield until the pedestrian has crossed to the other side. All pedestrians should make eye contact with a motorist and give the driver enough time to stop.

The police department reminds drivers to be more alert, especially with the start of school next week, when there will be children walking to and from school.

In 2008 and so far this year, there were 88 reported vehicle accidents involving pedestrians in Santa Barbara. In those accidents, there were 74 injuries and two fatalities.

— Sgt. Noel Rivas is the traffic/motors supervisor for the Santa Barbara Police Department.

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