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Citrus Heights PD plans crackdown on jaywalking, bike violations

Auburn Boulevard, pedestrian collision,
File photo. Citrus Heights police officers block off a portion of Auburn Boulevard to investigate a vehicle versus pedestrian collision in November, 2015. Police said the woman was crossing outside of a sidewalk. //CHSentinel

After a deadly spike in roadway deaths in the city last year, Citrus Heights police have announced plans to concentrate enforcement efforts on violations related to pedestrian and bike safety “in the coming weeks.”

“Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian violations are occurring, including locations where traffic collisions occur, in an effort to lower deaths and injuries,” the department said in a news release last week. The statement also said police investigated a total of 156 injury or fatal collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists in Citrus Heights over the past three years, mapping out locations of crashes occurring in the last two years.

Although police reported zero fatalities on Citrus Heights streets in 2014, a total of six roadway deaths occurred in 2015. Four of the deaths involved pedestrians, while one involved a motorcycle and the other resulted from a vehicle hitting a tree.

Pedestrians were determined to have been at fault in all four pedestrian deaths last year, according to a statement from Police Chief Christopher Boyd at a council meeting last month. As previously reported on The Sentinel, alcohol was also involved in at least half the fatal collisions.

As part of the stepped up enforcement effort, police said action “will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally, or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way.” The cost of a jaywalking fine in Sacramento County is currently $194, according to Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer.

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Police also said special attention would be focused on drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, as well as for speeding, illegal turns, disregarding stop signs, and “any other dangerous violation.” Bike riders will also be issued citations if they “fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists.”

The department advises bike riders to always wear helmets and said pedestrians should only cross streets in marked crosswalks, or at corners. Bicyclists under 18 are required to wear a helmet by law.

[Related: CHPD seeks to reduce fatalities with $236k traffic safety grant]

Police said funding for the local enforcement effort comes from a California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grant, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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