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Bicyclists and pedestrians aren’t usually the ones targeted for citation during police safety enforcement operations.

Well, those tables turned on Monday when the Fresno Police Department cited dozens of them for multiple violations. Yes, jaywalking was included.

In total, police issued 73 citations to bicyclists, pedestrians and some drivers between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Not the Right Direction

14 bicyclists were cited for various violations of the California Vehicle Code.

The code? “Must ride in the same direction as traffic.”

The 14 riders were caught riding against the flow of traffic.

A Signal to Pedestrians

51 pedestrians were having a tough time obeying signals and staying in their own lanes.

18 of those bipedal scofflaws were caught outside of crosswalks failing to yield. Another 13 didn’t obey the pedestrian signal at a crosswalk.

Drivers Weren’t Totally Off the Hook

One driver failed to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk.

Another driver just failed to yield altogether.

17 other drivers were cited for a variety of other unspecified vehicle code violations.

Crash Statistics

In 2019, 3 bicyclists have been killed and 75 injured in Fresno, according to police. In addition, 20 pedestrians were killed and another 148 injured that same year.

The Fresno Police Department plans to conduct another bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation in January 2021.

Funding for the effort came from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

5 Responses

  1. Bernard Rieux

    The fact that they only cited a single driver for failing to yield at a crosswalk assures me that they weren’t watching crosswalks. They cited that many pedestrians and bicyclists because that’s who they were looking for. Jim Jakobs is wrong that safety operations don’t usually focus on ticketing pedestrians and bicyclists; in Fresno that’s exclusively who they focus on. The Fresno Police has never held a crosswalk sting targeting drivers, like Sacramento and Bakersfield use. Fresno PD only does jaywalking stings.

    I cross a marked crosswalk on a major street in East Central twice a day and the yield rate is something like 20%. The yield rate at unmarked crosswalks in Fresno is 0%, including cops. Pedestrians have lost all their right-of-ways at unmarked crosswalks because our local bumpkin police decided this is a law they’re simply not going to enforce—even as they hand out jaywalking tickets 50 at a time.

    Cops have what is referred to as windshield bias: when you only navigate roads from behind the wheel of a car then you tend to notice only the violations being made by pedestrians and bicyclists, but when you navigate them outside of a car it becomes more apparent how often drivers violate right-of-way laws. Fresno police officers are mostly sloppy fat rednecks who’ve never walked or biked anywhere in their lives (at least not outside of the Clovis suburbs where they all live) so they can’t relate to what it’s like trying to use major roads in Fresno outside of a car.

    Reply
    • Bernard Rieux

      GV Wire should film a crosswalk experiment video testing how often local drivers yield. It’d probably get a lot of views—there are quite a few videos like this on YouTube from news stations in other cities. And Assemi is supposedly a big advocate of walkability so this should be right up your alley.

      Reply
  2. Matt Friedman

    The focus should be increased to protecting pedestrians and bicyclists than issuing tickets. The likelihood of serious injury or death is much greater for them than vehicle drivers. State level and many local transportation policies and plans are encouraging transportation that reduces pollution and encourages healthy activities such as bike use, pedestrian travel and transit. Focusing enforcement on the bike/ped users does not encourage or enhance those activities. Yes, bike/ped travelers need to adhere to the law, but so do vehicle drivers.

    Reply
  3. Paul

    Irresponsible pedestrians and bikers are few but very dangerous. But the bigger problem in Fresno are the deliberate red light runners. It is so frustrating to see them constantly running red lights. I have even seen PD run red lights and they were on on an emergency call. I stop at yellow lights and people behind me honk for doing so. Turn on the cameras and ticket the runners for breaking the law.

    Reply

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