Officers were stationed in several locations identified as having "dangerous intersections" Wednesday--including Downtown San Diego, Hillcrest, and Pacific Beach--to enforce traffic laws and educate pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers on safety.
"It’s all data driven. We look at where we can be the most impactful and what the violations are and the cause of these collisions and where those collisions occur," said SDPD Officer Gregory Minter. "And that’s how we target our education and enforcement."
Minter told NBC 7, the department mapped out the specific intersections where pedestrian involved crashes have occurred the most in the last three years. He said officers are not necessarily ticketing violators, but rather focusing on educating them and enforcing traffic laws.
"The more egregious violations we see, yes we're gonna give them tickets. The people that we feel will respond well to education, we're gonna educate them," he said.
There have been more than 250 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians during the last three years, according to San Diego police.
Minter added that there are a number of reasons for crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians. Some pedestrians either jaywalk or cross the street when they do not have right of way. Other times, crashes are caused by distracted drivers.
Funding for the pedestrian and bicyclist safety detail was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
San Diego police also issued some of the following safety tips for pedestrians:
- 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.
For drivers, the department recommended the following safety tips:
- 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.