Traffic Enforcement Deployment Results in Atherton

On Wednesday, March 4th the Atherton and Burlingame Police Departments stepped up pedestrian safety enforcement in Atherton. The focused enforcement was to address the primary collision factors involving motorists and pedestrians.  The detail was part of an ongoing Office of Traffic Safety funded effort in San Mateo County to increase traffic safety on the Peninsula, coordinated by the San Mateo County Police Chiefs and Sheriff Association.

The deployment resulted in 87 citations. Of the 87 citations, 48 were for unsafe speed, 35 were for failure to yield to a pedestrian within a crosswalk, one was a cell phone violation, one was a texting violation, and one was not having a driver license in possession. Additionally, one driver was arrested for evading the police.

Pedestrian Simulation

On Wednesday afternoon Atherton Police Sergeant Anthony Kockler imitated a pedestrian walking across El Camino Real at Almendral Avenue in Atherton. Video of the simulation can be found on the Atherton YouTube Channel by clicking here.

As you can see, an Atherton motorcycle officer is holding a speed radar gun while Lt. Wade narrates the event. Sgt. Kockler proceeds across El Camino Real in the crosswalk and motorists continue at full speed. An additional motor officer takes off to pull over the motorist who should have yielded to Sgt. Kockler - the pedestrian.

Remember it's the Law!
Motorists must yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalks

Section 21950 (a) of the California Vehicle Code requires that 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. For the full text of the Code click here.

Safety Tips that can help reduce collisions

The following safety tips can save lives and stop this tragedy witnessed far too often in San Mateo County:
Drivers can:
  • Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
  • Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians too.
  • Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path. See
Pedestrians can:
  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
  • Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
  • Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street.

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