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Salinas Police conduct pedestrian sting operation at dangerous crosswalks

SALINAS, Calif. - UPDATE 12/13/17 5:45 p.m.: 

Salinas police officers are cracking down on drivers who aren’t slowing down for pedestrians. While the sting was planned weeks ago, it’s coming just days after two men were killed in two separate crashes in Salinas.

On Wednesday, four Salinas police officers, three on motorcycles and a decoy, hit up a busy intersection where drivers are known to blow past pedestrians. That includes East Laurel Drive and Granada Avenue, where we caught several close calls on camera.

"I almost got ran over three times because I'm walking and they don't stop,” one woman said. “The cars have gotten really close to me. That street is very dangerous."

This particular stretch of Laurel is especially Davis as drivers try to beat the light at Laurel Drive and Natividad Road. 

"This roadway right here is 35 miles an hour and I would say the average speed is probably 45-50, especially during rush hour, unless it's just completely heavy traffic," said Officer Kevin Orepeza.

After that location, officers went to North Main Street and Navajo Drive, a known trouble spot. People who live and work in the area said they’ve become used to dodging cars. 

"I pretty much cross this about three times a week and I pretty much get the same situation,” Cassandra Yeiser said. “People not wanting to stop for you even though they see you in the crosswalk, they'll turn around and switch to another lane and speed up so they don't have to stop for you, which is very frustrating because I thought the pedestrians had the right of way, not the drivers."

By Wednesday afternoon, police estimate 65-70 citations were handed out. Other locations of the sting included Natividad Road at Sorrentini Drive, North Main Street at Lamar Street and Abbott and Maple Streets.

"Unfortunately most of the excuses this morning were ‘They didn't see him’ or one car stops, and the other person isn't paying attention and keeps right on going," Orepeza said.

But it’s not just drivers who are at fault. We saw incidents where pedestrians were jaywalking and sometimes blindly walking out into the roadway. 

The sting comes days after two men were killed in two separate crashes. On Sunday, Jay Bradley was hit and killed on East Laurel Drive and Terra Drive and Alan Ellis was killed at North Main Street and Rochex Avenue. The city of Salinas now has seven pedestrian deaths this year. 

ORIGINAL POST:

Salinas Police cracked down on drivers that did not yield to pedestrians. This, just days after two men were killed in two separate crashes in Salinas.

This pedestrian sting was not in response to those deaths, it was planned several weeks ago. But as we've said before, pedestrian related traffic deaths are a big problem in Salinas.

On Wednesday, four Salinas Police Officers, three on motorcycles and a decoy, hit up several busy intersections where drivers have been known to blow past pedestrians trying to cross the street.

The busy intersections include Natividad Road at Sorrentini, East Laurel and Granada and North Main Street at Navajo.

A plain-clothes officer would cross the busy streets to see if drivers would slow down and let him cross. Those who didn't, got pulled over and handed a ticket. By 4p.m., police estimated anywhere between 65-70 citations were handed out.

"Unfortunately like most of the excuses this morning were they didn't see him or one car stops, and the other person isn't paying attention and keeps right on going,” said Officer Kevin Orepeza.

That decoy had a close call and several pedestrians also had near misses with cars. But it's not always the drivers fault.  There were also incidents where pedestrians were in the wrong -- jaywalking, sometimes blindly walking out into the roadway without making sure the coast was clear.

The sting comes days after two pedestrian crashes-- Jay Bradley was hit and killed on East Laurel at Terra and Alan Ellis was killed on North Main and Rochex. There has been seven pedestrian deaths so far this year in Salinas.


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