Chula Vista is launching a "Stay Safe Chula Vista" Campaign starting Sunday.
City officials are declaring April to be Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month because of the sharp rise in pedestrian fatalities. More pedestrians are getting hurt or even killed in recent years because of distractions.
Last year, nine people lost their lives in pedestrian-related crashes in the city of Chula Vista. That was a 125 percent increase from 2016.
The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) says the pedestrian was at fault in seven of the nine cases.
The goal of the campaign is to have both drivers and pedestrians be more aware of each other, police said.
Chula Vista police Chief Roxana Kennedy says this is an all-hands-on effort to make Chula Vista a safer city.
Officers will be watching for distracted drivers and for pedestrians jaywalking or not obeying street signs.
“We’re working with all of the departments in the city (to make) sure we’re educating the community," Kennedy said. "The last thing people want is a ticket, without a doubt."
Kennedy said she wants her officers to "make it an educational reason" for stopping distracted pedestrians and drivers, instead of ticketing them.