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CHP tackles pedestrian safety in Sacramento County

After several bicycle and pedestrian accidents occurred in north Sacramento County over the past year, the California Highway Patrol took to the streets in effort to promote safety. On Saturday, extra patrols were sent to various locations where pedestrian or bicycle accidents had occurred to perform a decoy enforcement operation.

The CHP reported that 36 citations and five verbal warnings were handed out to drivers, bike riders and pedestrians who had violated the law and could have contributed to an injury-causing accident. In particular, the officers were on the lookout for pedestrians who jaywalked and drivers who sped, made illegal turns, failed to yield to pedestrians, and failed to stop at signs and signals. 

A majority of the citations were handed out to drivers who failed to acknowledge the right of way of pedestrians in crosswalks. As the California Department of Motor Vehicles reports on its website, pedestrians have the right-of-way in both marked and unmarked crosswalks, which means drivers are required to yield.

Unfortunately, many drivers in California are unaware of or unwilling to follow the laws that help keep pedestrians safe.  This is one of the main reasons that pedestrian accidents account for about 22 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state. Here are a few more rules of the road when it comes to pedestrian safety:

  • Do not stop inside of a designated crosswalk such as at an intersection.
  • Do not pass a car that has stopped at a crosswalk.
  • Do not drive on a sidewalk unless entering or exiting a driveway or alley. In these cases, first yield for pedestrians.
  • Watch for pedestrians to make eye contact, which signals that he or she is about to step out into the street.
  • Give pedestrians the time they need to cross the street. Don't rush them. 

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