In an effort to help reduce the number or pedestrian versus vehicle collisions in the Santa Clarita Valley, Sheriff’s Station deputies performed enforcement operations on Thursday morning and afternoon.
Throughout the day on Thursday, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station strongly enforced vehicle code laws regarding vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians, as well as jaywalking, walking or running in traffic and crossing streets against signals, according to a news release. Persons violating these laws were issued a citation.
Deputy Kevin Duxbury crosses the street to see how motorists will react.
“We have two deputies who are not in uniform acting as our pedestrians, they are crossing the streets in a lawful, legal manner. We have other deputies cited up to spot for vehicles that cross through the crosswalks,” said Sgt. Michael Wright with the SCV Sheriff’s Station. “In turn, we have units staged to intercept those vehicles and conduct enforcement.”
The two deputies acting as pedestrians were Deputy Kevin Duxbury and Deputy Cabrera.
The enforcement operations were held on the intersection of Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway on Thursday morning from about 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. as well as on the intersection of Whites Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road from 12:30 p.m. until about 2 p.m.
SCV Sheriff’s Station deputies involved in Thursday’s enforcement effort are continuing at different intersections in Santa Clarita.
In the course of two hours, 40 citations were given to drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians at the intersection of Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway.
“Essentially, what we’re trying to do here is heighten awareness, increase the public’s safety, especially with the pedestrians,” Wright said. “We have a lot of pedestrians, these are major intersections we’re talking about these aren’t small intersections, there’s a lot of traffic.”
There is, on average, two incidents per week between pedestrians and cyclists with vehicles, said Gail Morgan, spokeswoman for the city of Santa Clarita.
“This is a high priority for city and for the sheriff’s department,” said Morgan. “The community should be aware that they will see more enforcement in regards to pedestrian safety, (such as) running red lights, failure to yield and speeding.”
It is a comprehensive effort to promote not only the safety of pedestrians, but the drivers of vehicles as well, said Ken Striplin, city manager for the city of Santa Clarita. Traffic enforcement is a daily effort.
“A lot of people don’t realize that in a crosswalk, the pedestrian, no matter where they are in the crosswalk has the right-of-way,” said Wright. “The vehicle is not allowed to enter the crosswalk until the pedestrian is completely cleared and is on the sidewalk.”
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has seen an increase in vehicle versus pedestrian traffic collisions which have resulted in numerous injuries and some deaths, according to a news release.
“Keep your eyes open because a lot of times pedestrians step off the curb,” said Wright. “A lot of times that’s when the collisions happen, within a few feet of the curb.”