CHULA VISTA (NEWS 8) – Chula Vista Police on Wednesday cracked down on distracted drivers and pedestrians after a sharp increase in pedestrian fatalities in the South Bay city in recent months.
According to police, there has been a 200-percent increase, year-to-date, of pedestrian fatalities. Last year, nine pedestrians were killed.
“We want the citizens of Chula Vista and the people that visit Chula Vista safe on our streets,” said Chula Vista Police Department Traffic Unit Officer Brian Carter.
News 8 walked along with Chula Vista traffic officers during a special enforcement assignment to prevent and educate pedestrian safety along E Street, near the trolley station.
Darryl Beckham was cited $100 for jaywalking. “To me, I thought it was just something you see on TV. I am a grown man. I figure I can cross without getting hit.”
Police warn pedestrians can be cautions, but pedestrian fatalities are not always the pedestrian’s fault.
“These days, a lot of drivers may be texting and driving and they may not see you – probably not paying attention to the road,” said Officer Brian.
Chula Vista Police traffic officers also targeted distracted drivers on their cellphones.
“We are looking for people who are having the phone up to their ear and up to their hand. You can’t have it in your hand while you are driving,” said Officer Brian.
While the hefty fine may be a deterrent, officers said they just want to keep people alive.
The police department used #StaySafeChulaVista to create awareness.
They also recommended the public to stay alert, follow the rules and be visible.
Driving while talking on a cellphone starts with a $162 fine. Jaywalking is a $100 fine.
Officers also gave out brochures to educate the public.