Officers crack down on drivers who don't stop for pedestrians - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Officers crack down on drivers who don't stop for pedestrians

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Since 2005, there have been more than 12 accidents in which pedestrians have been hit by cars in Los Osos, according to the California Highway Patrol. One of them, in 2015, was fatal.

On Tuesday, CHP officers set out to catch drivers who weren't stopping for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk at Los Osos Valley Road and Fairchild Way. 

CHP Public Information Officer Jordan Richards says during Coffee with a Cop, an event where locals can chat with local law enforcement about issues in their community, residents addressed their concerns over the busy crosswalk, prompting a sting operation that was funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety.

As Officer Richards kept a lookout for drivers failing to yield, four CHP officers were staged in the area, ready to stop drivers that failed to yield to a pedestrian who was actually an officer acting as a decoy.

"We're staged at the Fairchild intersection with LOVR," Richards said. "We had officers on both the east and the west of that location where they were concealed not being able to be seen."

Although the flashing yellow crosswalk should give away that it's a place for pedestrians to cross, some drivers didn't get the memo. 

Some locals, like Lauren Silva, say feeling unsafe in the crosswalk isn't out of the ordinary.

"I do see a lot of people who hesitate to step into the crosswalk because most people don't slow down," she said. 

On Tuesday, some of those who failed to yield paid the price. 

Officer Russell DaAses was one of the four officers working the operation Tuesday, on the lookout for drivers breaking the law.

"The individual was close enough to constitute a hazard to the pedestrian, whereas he should've slowed down and stopped and allowed the pedestrian to cross safely," DaAses said.

The following tickets were issued on Tuesday:

  • 8 tickets for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
  • 1 ticket for cell phone use while driving
  • 1 ticket for not wearing a seat belt
  • 1 ticket for speeding

Not all who were pulled over received tickets. The following were issued as warnings:

  • Written warning for unsafe speed
  • 1 warning for failure to yield
  • 2 verbal warnings for unsafe speed
  • 3 verbal warnings for cell phone use while driving
  • 1 verbal warning for registration

Cones set 170 feet from the crosswalk in each direction indicated when drivers should slow down. However, some either sped through or slammed on their brakes. 

For frequent pedestrians like Silva, having a crosswalk is better than not having one at all. 

"It's been actually pretty helpful from what I've noticed because it's pretty hard crossing this area safely, at least this part of Los Osos," Silva said.

The information collected on Tuesday will go back to the CHP's division headquarters. For anyone who received a citation during the operation, their ticket indicates that it was part of the sting.

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