SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A deadly few months on the streets of Sacramento have the California Highway Patrol cracking down on dangerous drivers and pedestrians after two dozen people have been hurt or killed.
On Saturday, CHP was enforcing California’s right of way laws, concentrated their efforts on the busy intersection of 24th Street and Broadway.
In three separate accidents this week alone, three people were killed by cars, while a fourth was injured.
On Oct. 22, a 62-year-old woman died in a hit-and-run along Stockton Boulevard in Elk Grove. A few hours later, a 33-year-old man was killed while crossing Arden Way in north Sacramento.
On Monday night, a 75-year-old woman was killed in the Arden-Arcade area.
“I came out and then we seen all the traffic stop and a body laying down, and a girl was screaming,” Georgia Marin told CBS13 in a Oct. 24 interview.
According to data collected by CHP, 10 pedestrians were killed and 15 were injured between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31.
CHP says most of those incidents are preventable. So, officers decided to send a message to both pedestrians and drivers, conducting a sting operation to catch people breaking the law.
“Some of these times, the pedestrian walked in front of a vehicle,” said CHP Officer Adrian Quintero.
In the four hours of the operation, Quintero says officers caught many pedestrians violating laws.
“Pedestrians slowed down or maneuvered toward the vehicle. In that case, that would be a violation on the pedestrian,” he said.
Officers say they also caught many drivers in the wrong, including one man who blamed a pedestrian – not knowing he was actually an undercover officer.
“We saw one officer almost get hit as a result of one person running a red light, turning right in front of him,” said Quintero.
A total of 49 citations were issued during the broad daylight operation.
Quintero says the common excuse among drivers is they didn’t see the pedestrians.
CHP hopes those on the street get the message before it is too late, like for Mary Murigi’s family. In 2012, her 16-year-old daughter was in the crosswalk when she was hit and killed by a car. The driver said he didn’t notice Murigi’s daughter had started to cross.
“She was my baby,” Murigi said. “I do love her, and I miss her a lot.”
The fines for right of way law violations are $200 for pedestrians and drivers. The fine for jaywalking is $150.
CHP is planning another sting, but will be focusing on bicyclists instead. Officers will make sure everyone is wearing a helmet and walking their bicycles through crosswalks.
The undercover operations are ongoing and expected to run through September 2014.