Police step up patrol, target pedestrian collisions

DOWNEY --The Downey Police Department is deploying extra officers this month targeting drivers that do not yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and bicycle riders and pedestrians who cross streets illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. The stepped-up patrol is part of a traffic enforcement operations plan intended to reduce collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

"The department has mapped out locations over the past three years where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred along, with the violations that led to those crashes," the police department said in a news release. "Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and crashes occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries."

Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians that can lead to collisions.

Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and other dangerous violations, police said.

Bicyclists will be issued citations when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to drivers, officials said. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.

Since 2012, the Downey Police Department has investigated 276 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

A state grant is funding this enforcement operation.