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San Francisco police hold sting operation to cite drivers who don't yield to pedestrians

Sting operation held by police for San Francisco drivers not yielding to pedestrians
Sting operation held by police for San Francisco drivers not yielding to pedestrians 03:08

SAN FRANCISCO — Crossing the street should be a simple task, but for many pedestrians in San Francisco, they need to be on high alert for drivers navigating the city streets.

Ronen Reynolds, a regular visitor to the West Portal public library, shared his concerns about the challenges pedestrians face, especially at confusing intersections like Ulloa and Wawona streets.

"It's sort of bad for pedestrians because it's a little bit tricky. Because one thing I don't like is like when the lights is like 15 seconds for an old person and that's when something happens," Reynolds remarked.

Reynolds expressed frustration with drivers who disregard stop signs and fail to yield to pedestrians.

"That's just ridiculous, and that's the impatience of all of us. That's just ignorance. It's like, come on, are you trying to kill somebody?" he exclaimed.

In response to growing concerns about pedestrian safety, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) conducted a sting operation targeting drivers who failed to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.

Assistant Chief David Lazar said community feedback was important in prompting the enforcement action.

"The message was loud and clear. Many of the community called us and emailed us and they said that more enforcement needs to be done," he stated.

The operation involved six officers on motorcycles and two decoy officers, meticulously observing intersections and ready to take action against violators. Within 90 minutes, the SFPD issued 22 tickets and five warnings to drivers who endangered pedestrians by failing to yield the right of way.

"These are all tools to educate the community in today with the media being here helping us promoting a message of traffic safety," Assistant Chief Lazar explained.

The sting operation comes on the heels of a tragic crash where a family of four was killed at a nearby bus stop. Witnesses reported that the driver was speeding in the wrong direction on Ulloa Street, underscoring the urgent need for improved traffic safety measures.

Ronen Reynolds echoed the importance of such initiatives in preventing further tragedies.

"There's got to be something that we can do, something outside the box like surveys and stuff, finding out why people are seeing red. And we've all done it in different situations, but driving you have to be careful," he urged.

On Thursday, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director Jeffrey Tumlin, San Francisco Supervisor Myrna Melgar and project supervisor Liz Brisson announced a number of proposed improvements to the area.  

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