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Berkeley Police Department
Wednesday April 27th, 2016 :: 09:18 a.m. PDT


Police Conduct Pedestrian Safety Operation

The Berkeley Police Department will step up pedestrian safety enforcement operations on Friday, April 29, 2016.  These operation swill focus on pedestrian safety and collision causing factors involving motorists and pedestrians.  Additionally, from now through June 31, 2016, there will be additional motor officers on-duty conducting enforcement and educational efforts based on data from prior collisions.

Motor officers will look out for traffic offenses made by drivers and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries.  Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violation.   Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way.  Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or intersections and should not cross against the "Don't Walk" signs. 

Pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use non-motorized means of transportation.  In 2013, according to Office of Traffic Safety statistics, California witnessed 701 pedestrian deaths accounting for over 23 percent of all roadway fatalities, much higher than the national average of 15 percent.  In 2015, the City of Berkeley investigated 174 injury collisions involving a bicyclist (including one fatality involving a bicyclist), and 18 collisions involving a pedestrian.

A national study reveals that pedestrians and drivers do not obey laws and signals consistently and many often use cell phones, text and listen to music while walking or driving.  Only 60 percent of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way.

Most recently, in the City of Berkeley, a mother and her nine year old child were struck in the crosswalk at Claremont Avenue and Claremont Crescent on March 8, 2016, at 7:40 p.m.  The crosswalk is one of the main crossings for students to and from John Muir Elementary School.  The driver of the involved vehicle failed to yield to the mother and daughter as they crossed the street in the designated crosswalk.  The nine year old suffered two fractured legs.  This crosswalk will be an area of interest during the Berkeley Police Department's enforcement efforts.

Consider the following safety tips in your day to day travels:

Drivers can:

  • Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as 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.

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 colored clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Berkeley Police Department
2100 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 510-981-5900

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