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Crosswalk violators caught red-handed
An American Medical Response vehicle fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian during a Turlock Police Department crosswalk sting on Wednesday. - photo by SABRA STAFFORD / The Journal


Vehicle code 21950:
(a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to
a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or
within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise
provided in this chapter.
(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of
using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly
leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path
of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a
marked or unmarked crosswalk.
(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any
marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall
reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to
the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of
the pedestrian.
(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from
the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian
within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an

As the school year gets underway again, the Turlock Police Department is giving drivers a reminder about the rules of the road — in particular, yield to pedestrians.
The department’s traffic unit conducted a sting operation Wednesday targeting drivers who didn’t give the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
The premise was simple. An officer, dressed in street clothes, crossed the street in a crosswalk multiple times and the drivers that didn’t stop got a citation from one of the two motorcycle patrols waiting in the wings. The entire operation was also recorded on video.
“It’s a good reminder for people that they are supposed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, especially now that school is back in session,” Lt. Ron Reid.
The unit went to two locations — Geer Road and 20th Century Boulevard and Wayside Drive and Olive Avenue — where the crosswalks are not controlled by lights, but do have posted crosswalk signs.
At the end of the four hour operation, they had given out 20 citations for violating the rights of pedestrians in crosswalks. They also cited five people for driving on a suspended driver’s license or having no license at all. Three cars were towed as well.
“When we told people what they were being cited for, they reacted with shock,” said Officer Reece Haile. “Then they started giving excuses that they didn’t see the person, or have enough time to stop. It’s all signs that people aren’t paying attention to the roadways and the signs.”
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 23 pedestrians injured or killed in traffic accidents in Turlock in 2007, the latest year available. Of those, six were children under the age of 15.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.