With pedestrian fatalities on the rise throughout the state, Bakersfield Police is stepping up their pedestrian safety enforcement operations over the next couple of weeks, focusing on areas in the city with driver and pedestrian collisions.
BPD said routine traffic patrols will focus efforts in these trouble spots while special targeted patrols will be deployed to crack down on drivers and pedestrians who violate traffic laws.
The department has mapped out locations over the past three years where pedestrian-involved collisions have occurred along with violations that led to those crashes. Over the next two weeks, officers will be looking for traffic offenses made by drivers and pedestrians.
BPD said special attention will be directed toward drivers including those who are speeding, driving distracted, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, and failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks. Pedestrians who cross illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way will also be paid attention to.
BPD has investigated 49 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians over the past three years. Last year, there were 867 pedestrian deaths, accounting for nearly a quarter of all roadway fatalities. The national average is 15%.
Bakersfield Police recommends drivers and pedestrians look out for each other. Drivers can look out for pedestrians especially in hard-to-see conditions, slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk, stop at the crosswalk line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to pedestrians, and be cautious when backing up.
Pedestrians are asked to be predictable and follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks and obey signs and signals. They're also asked to walk facing traffic, and walk as far from traffic as possible when there's no sidewalk available. Don't be distracted on your phone and pay attention to traffic around you, make eye contact with approaching drivers, wear reflective clothing at night, and look left-right-left before crossing a street.