Pomona: Jay Walkers Beware



JAYWALK            Pomona – Traffic Safety has been a topic in the news quite a bit lately. With the seemingly increased number of pedestrian and bicyclist accidents and deaths, cities are cracking down on the rules of the road that apply to everyone.

As the Pomona Police Department says, Be Safe, Be Seen, and Be Smart, schooling us with the encouragement of the “3 Es of Traffic Safety: Education, Engineering and Enforcement.” Pomona has been working tirelessly on their campaign to reduce collisions and keep pedestrians and bicyclists safer. They have deployed electronic message boards reminding drivers to be attentive with over 250 hours of messaging. The next phase is to enforce the teachings.

You may be aware of the recent “Three Feet For Safety” law that went into effect on Sept. 16, mandating motorists to allow at least three feet between their vehicle and bicyclists moving in the same direction, or slow down and wait until it is safe to pass. Keeping that safer distance in check will help to reduce the number of collisions.

We’ve all heard that pedestrians have the right of way, but there are rules for them, too. According to the Pomona Police Department, there were 79 pedestrian related vehicle collisions in 2013. These collisions resulted in 69 injuries and 3 fatalities. The causes of these collisions can be attributed to drivers not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks as well as pedestrians who unsafely walk onto the roadway, not conscious of their surroundings.

But we’ve all come upon the pedestrian that takes their right-of-way status a little too seriously. They cross in the middle of the street, and seem to slow down upon your approach. Sometimes they even look you in the eye, daring you to move.

Pomona Police investigators have concluded that some of our pedestrian related collisions were the cause of pedestrians disobeying a lighted traffic signal, suddenly running or crossing into the path of a vehicle, misjudging the speed and distance of a vehicle and alcohol consumption by the pedestrian as a contributing factor. UC Berkeley researchers have found that 30% of all pedestrian fatalities are related to improper street crossing.

The California Vehicle Code (CVC) prohibits pedestrian crossings at very specific locations, which leads us to the concept of “jaywalking,” or crossing between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic signals. Pedestrians do have a requirement not to cross a roadway that puts them in an immediate and dangerous conflict with a vehicle, and must use due care for their safety.

The Pomona Police Department says that now, pedestrians who suddenly walk or run onto the roadway, which can make them a hazard to vehicles, can be cited per the CVC. Pedestrians are also obligated, when they are not in a marked or unmarked crosswalk, to yield the right-of-way to all vehicles so as to not become an immediate hazard.

Remember: Be Safe, Be Seen, and Be Smart. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists all must take steps to ensure safety by following traffic signs, signals and rules.

If you would like more information about traffic safety, contact the Pomona Police Traffic Services Bureau at (909) 620-2081.