Police net dozens in crosswalk sting

Police net dozens in crosswalk sting

Alamedan Staff
Alameda police

Police from Alameda and a host of other agencies wrote dozens of tickets during a pedestrian decoy sting Wednesday.

Officers issued 168 citations during the operation, which took place at eight of Alameda's busiest intersections. About 80 percent of the tickets were written for pedestrian violations, with additional citations issued for distracted driving and excessive speed.

The sting was part of a broader effort to educate drivers and reduce the number of pedestrian and vehicle collisions here and in other Alameda County cities where similar operations have taken place in recent months, police said.

Residents who follow the department's Nixle feed cheered the sting and offered a list of other intersections where they said drivers often don't allow pedestrians to safely cross. Police said they plan to use the suggestions for future operations.

Police conducted a similar sting in February 2014, during which they wrote more than five dozen citations. The department followed the sting with a safety campaign.


Donna Eyestone's picture
Submitted by Donna Eyestone on Mon, Jun 29, 2015

I just want to be sure I'm understanding this correctly. When you write "written for pedestrian violations" what that means is tickets written to vehicle drivers who violated pedestrian rights. Right?

Submitted by JB (not verified) on Mon, Jun 29, 2015

I am all for ticketing drivers for pedestrian violations. What I cannot get behind is the police setting up the situation. And when 168 tickets are written in one day at the very end of the fiscal year, it seems more about a big cash grab than being about public safety. If it was about public safety, they wouldn't need decoys. Not cool, APD.

Submitted by David (not verified) on Mon, Jun 29, 2015

Most tickets were written to drivers for violating pedestrian cross walk laws.

One ticket was written to a ped for jaywalking, per KRON "people behaving badly"

Submitted by Theresa (not verified) on Mon, Jun 29, 2015

It would be nice if they would also do a concentrated pedestrian and bicyclist sting. I understand they ticketed one person for jaywalking. I can't believe there were not more. Also, the number of bicyclists who continue to violate traffic laws is significant. I frequently see cyclists blowing through red lights and stop signs, riding on the wrong side of the road against traffic, and driving the wrong way on one way streets. Increasing safety among ALL persons using the roads requires ALL persons respecting the same rules - drivers, walkers, and cyclists.

Submitted by debra sarver (not verified) on Mon, Jun 29, 2015

At the interesection of San Jose and Broadway, one of the sites, elementary, middle and high school students cross. The sting is to try to get people to obey the law BEFORE a child gets killed. The crosswalk is clearly marked and those big green signs have been installed, but the cars still will not stop. A day or two before the sting we saw a man almost get hit by a speeding, turning car. I applaud the effort.

Submitted by Steve Gerstle on Tue, Jun 30, 2015

I experience crosswalk violations every day. They happen at intersections with traffic lights and those without. I have been cut off countless times at Atlantic and Webster by motorists making right turns.

Having an enforcement action for a few hours from time-to-time does more to document the extent of the problem than to resolve it. The APD needs to be brought back to full strength. With increased traffic and population, the problem is only going to get worse.

Submitted by b. (not verified) on Tue, Jun 30, 2015

I agree with Theresa's comment above:

Stop the mistaken belief that "drivers" are the ONLY problem here!

Bicyclists who think they are above the law, totally disregarding the rules of the road that everyone else has to follow, really need to be given a FIRM reality check.

Pedestrians with their vision firmly planted on their cell phones stepping out into traffic or in front of a vehicle in a store parking lot need the same. Can't count the number of times someone staring at their phone has just stepped out in front of me (NOT in a crosswalk) and then gotten huffy when they get the horn tooted at them and told to "WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING!"

Submitted by J. Mc (not verified) on Tue, Jun 30, 2015

I wholeheartedly agree that the APD should also be looking at the pedestrians who don't obey the law. We have allowed the removal of even the most basic of responsibilities from the pedestrians. They seldom look one way, let alone both ways, before walking out into the street. I see this happening every single day in Alameda. Also, an increasing number of bicyclists are guilty of ignoring the same traffic laws the rest of us have to obey. If you're astride a bike, you must obey the vehicle codes. Only when you're off a bike, walking with it, are you to be considered a pedestrian.

Submitted by neil (not verified) on Wed, Jul 1, 2015

I'm both a bicyclist and a driver. When I'm cycling, I'm shocked at how bad the quality of driving is. It's something I just don't notice as much when I drive--probably because I'm traveling at the same speed. And the difference is that, while I get very annoyed at bad bicycle behavior when I drive, I have almost been hit by incompetent, careless and aggressive drivers when on my bike. The stakes are very different. So, while drivers may bristle with righteous indignation (see above), the police should focus (mostly, not exclusively) on where the public safety gains can be made.

Submitted by Theresa (not verified) on Wed, Jul 1, 2015

Its not righteous indignation, its reality. Let me tell you about my experience last night, 9:45 pm, Willie Stargell Ave heading west toward Main Street. It is not well lit in that area. A cyclist wearing a black shirt, dark pants, and black hair is riding a bike down the center of the street with no light on their bike and no reflectors working. How did I know his shirt, pants, and hair color? Because when I nearly smacked into him - as there was NOTHING reflecting for me to see him, once I finally saw him at the last moment and swerved, I took a good long look out the window and drove alongside him long enough to figure out why I didn't see him. But for the grace of G-d I didn't hit him. It would be the equivalent of a driver with a black car, blacked out windows, and no reflectors driving down the middle of the road with no headlights. Ridiculous. Just because you ride a bike doesn't mean you can ignore fundamental traffic safety. Drivers can only do so much - they need cyclists and pedestrians to help watch out as well.

Submitted by b. (not verified) on Wed, Jul 1, 2015

neil, the traffic rules are the traffic rules, and they should be the same for everyone. And they should be obeyed by everyone.

My point was the seeming focus on "It's all the drivers' fault" that this article brought to everyone's attention.

If you wish for the rules of the road to change, then the rules of the road should be changed.

Ragging on (or intentionally targeting) any single "part" of the problem is only exacerbating the problem.

Submitted by Gerard L. (not verified) on Thu, Jul 2, 2015

I was involved in a auto/bike collision in Alameda. Thankfully I landed on a soft piece of asphalt.

Driver fully at fault. 3,000 pounds vs. 25. Uninsured like 20 percent of drivers. No citation from APD.

Emergency room, new bike, $1k+. Increased my limits against uninsured motorists.

I admit that I have also been pulled over by an Alameda Sheriff while cycling on Bay Farm Island for going through a red light. I wasn't cited, after respectfully explaining that the traffic signal would not change for a bicycle.

Share the road.

Submitted by Anne (not verified) on Fri, Jul 3, 2015

While I agree that there are far too many drivers not paying attention, there are also far too many pedestrians who believe that simply being in a crosswalk will somehow protect them from oncoming traffic. The pedestrian has an obligation to watch for cars. Even at 25 mph, a car cannot stop on dime just because someone has walked into a crosswalk. Yes, cars should stop when someone is waiting to cross, but pedestrians should also give the cars time to stop before proceeding.