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60 citations issued in Turlock traffic operation
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The Turlock Police Department’s traffic safety enforcement effort on Wednesday resulted in 60 citations being issued in just under a three hour time span.

The operation, which put a special focus on pedestrian safety, was part of an ongoing effort to reduce traffic collisions in the city. The enforcement operation took into account several factors that have contributed to serious and fatal collisions and targeted drivers and pedestrians that engaged in some of these bad practices.

“The fact that the Turlock Police Department issued 60 citations today, 37 of which were for pedestrians committing violations, shows the severity of the unsafe habits of both pedestrians and motorists,” said Turlock Police spokesperson Officer Steve Rodrigues. “Today’s operation demonstrates the department’s commitment to change the unsafe driving habits of motorists and pedestrians behaviors within the community so that we can prevent the tragic loss of life.”

In addition to the 37 citations issued to pedestrians committing various violations, the operation gave out five citations for speeding, 14 citations for ignoring a pedestrian’s right of way, one citation to a bicyclist riding on the wrong side of the road, and three parking citations, said Rodrigues.

The safety enforcement operation was conducted with the assistance of the County Integrated Traffic Enforcement. It was set up from 8 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. in the areas of Geer Road at 20th Century Blvd and Lander Avenue at Bernell Avenue. 

Over the last three years there have been 12 fatal collisions in the city, according to the police department. In 2015, there were 847 accidents in Turlock, an increase of 2 percent from 2014. The number of non-injury accidents was at 571, an increase of 6 percent from the year prior. There were 276 injury accidents in 2015, which is a 2 percent decrease from 2014. In 2015, Turlock saw two fatalities from traffic collisions, which is a 75 percent decrease from the year prior. 

On March 1, the Turlock City Council adopted a multi-pronged Collision Reduction Strategy with a focus on reducing collisions that involved motorist and non-motorized users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. The strategy involves a partnership between the Turlock Police Department and the City of Turlock’s Engineering Department. The two agencies put a focus on education and awareness in the first stages, which included traffic safety workshops with community members to discuss general safety practices, problem areas, and possible solutions.

The enforcement portion of the strategy got a boost when the police department received a $110,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.