According to Bike NOPA, SFPD will be implementing targeted pedestrian stings in the Park Police District area starting this week. SFPD spokesperson Sergeant Troy Dangerfield confirmed the implementation of the stings to the Appeal, saying that the stings were prompted by an increase in pedestrian accidents.
“Most of the stings in the city are either a result of people not giving the right of way to pedestrians or traffic accidents involving pedestrians,” Dangerfield said in a phone interview this morning. “If pedestrian accidents increase, we need to make people aware that they need to stop.” Dangerfield said that there are too many pedestrian accidents and that it has become a problem in San Francisco.
Currently found throughout the city are pedestrian walkways that light up (replacing some stop signs), but vehicles still do not stop, he says. The goal of the stings is to make people more aware that it is dangerous and unsafe to not yield the right of way to pedestrians.
When asked where the stings will be found in the city, Sergeant Dangerfield noted that all intersections are in the game plan. Park Station Captain Teresa Barrett explained that she expects the pedestrian stings to continue on an ongoing basis in their jurisdiction, which is “bordered by Geary Boulevard, Steiner, Market, Upper Market, 7th Avenue and the vast east end of Golden Gate Park.”
The law states that if a pedestrian is waiting to cross at a crosswalk, vehicles must yield. Drivers must yield even if the pedestrian is in an unmarked crosswalk intersection. If the pedestrian is in an unmarked crosswalk, they must look before stepping off the curb but if it is a marked crosswalk they are free to step into the intersection. Vehicles must yield in both situations.
The most common infraction being targeted is pedestrians not getting the right of way. The California Vehicle Code Division 11, Chapter 5, Section 21950 states that pedestrians must be granted the right of way in any marked or unmarked crosswalk. And the fine for this infraction isn’t a joke: a ticket for this violation will run you $220, says Dangerfield.
Motor vehicle drivers are not the only ones guilty of these offenses, though – cyclists are ticketed in these types of stings as well. More cyclists are ticketed downtown, though, than in the Park District.