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CHP cracks down on Orcutt drivers during pedestrian safety enforcement operation

Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 22:47:56-04

California Highway Patrol officers cracked down on drivers who were not watching out for pedestrians Tuesday morning in Orcutt.

The CHP says they decide to conduct this type of enforcement in highly traveled crosswalks where there have been a higher rate of injuries and deaths.

The pedestrian safety enforcement operation took place at Joe Nightingale Elementary School, Alice Shaw Elementary School and at the four-way stop at Gray and Clark Streets.

"I think people seeing that they are out here is going to make them slow down and stop more," said Crystal Dolan, parent of a student at Joe Nightingale Elementary School.

Officers pulled over people who failed to yield the right-of-way, were distracted behind the wheel and even under the influence.

"Between the three areas, we made 33 stops," said Benjamin Smith, Public Information Officer for Santa Maria CHP. "We issued 30 enforcement documents, one verbal, and we also apprehended an impaired driver for alcohol."

One officer dressed in regular clothes walked through the crosswalks and would then alert other CHP officers in the area about drivers who failed to comply with the law.

Marlena Walker owns a business near Gray and Clark Streets. She said she is pleased to see CHP officers catching violators but said it is something that she would like to see more of.

"I'm happy that they are out here. I wish they were out here more often," Walker said. "Especially in the morning when kids are going to school."

Officer Smith said not everyone was stopped was issued a citation.

All drivers who were pulled over were reminded how to properly stop for a pedestrian and proceed through an intersection safely.

The CHP says they conduct these enforcements in response to community members requesting them for certain crosswalk areas.