WINCHESTER: CHP Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation yields results
WINCHESTER — With so many serious and fatal accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians that have recently plagued the San Jacinto valley and surrounding areas, the California Highway Patrol recently conducted what they called a Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation in the unincorporated community of Winchester, west of of Hemet.
The safety enforcement program, which was designed to focus on motorists and pedestrians who failed to yield the right-of-way or who took unsafe risks and/or illegal actions, took place in front of Winchester Elementary School, at the intersection of SR-79/Winchester Road and Haddock Street.
The Thursday, Aug. 24 operation, which officials called “very successful,” focused on “right-of-way” violators, as part of CHP’s “ongoing efforts to improve pedestrian safety,” CHP Public Information Officer Darren Meyer explained in a written press release.
Meyer explained that during the operation officials used decoys – played by undercover CHP officers – who attempted to use the school’s marked cross walk to cross the street.
Officer/decoys would enter the cross walk when oncoming vehicles were still at least 300 feet or more from the intersection and cross walk, to ensure each driver had ample opportunity and time to yield the right of way and stop for the decoy pedestrian, according to Meyer.
As a result of their efforts, officers issued eleven citations and two warnings.
In addition to the citations and warnings, officers helped educate “an untold number of citizens…on the importance of pedestrian safety,” said Meyer.
The Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Pedestrian safety is a key issue in our community,” Meyer explained, saying, “The CHP is committed to upholding pedestrian safety laws to protect our citizens.”
To help lower the number of vehicle versus pedestrian accidents, Meyer encouraged community members to follow several basic safe practices:
- Drivers should be on the lookout for and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
- Drivers should slow down when in an area where pedestrians are likely to be.
- Never pass a car stopped for pedestrians. It’s against the law and highly dangerous for those crossing the street.
- Pedestrians should cross at the corner, at cross walks, or intersections wherever possible. This is where drivers expect to see pedestrians.
- Pedestrians should look both ways for traffic before crossing, make eye contact with the driver, and make certain cars are yielding before crossing. Having the right-of-way does not prevent you from being seriously injured by a driver who is not paying attention. Remember, pedestrians don’t have armor!
- Pedestrians should wear bright-colored, reflective clothing and use a flashlight when walking during hours of darkness – Be visible!
“Traffic safety is everyone’s responsibility,” according to Meyer, and he urged every member of the community to “be safe and follow the rules of the road.”
For additional information contact the CHP San Gorgonio Pass Area’s Public Information Officer Darren Meyer at (951) 769-2000.
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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 13 – soon to be 14 – grandchildren.