Glendale drivers and pedestrians cited during sting
A pedestrian is seen between two vehicles as she crosses the street on the 500 block of N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. The driver in the car in front of the pedestrian was pulled over by Glendale police for not yielding. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / July 29, 2014)
Some of the 10 officers joining the monthly pedestrian-enforcement detail cruised along Brand, while others on their motorcycles hid out of sight behind objects such as building pillars by mid-block crosswalks and jetted out once they witnessed a violation.
Sgt. Harout Bouzikian of the department’s traffic bureau said the operation’s overall goal is to spread awareness about pedestrian safety, though people crossing the street create a danger when they do so outside a crosswalk.
“Half of the accidents that were car vs. pedestrian [were] the pedestrian’s fault,” he said.
And when in the crosswalk, there aren’t any protective walls around, so people must still be aware of what’s going on around them.
“Even though the pedestrian has the right of way, they have to be careful to watch lane-by-lane as they’re going across,” Bouzikian said.
One of the drivers cited for allegedly failing to yield to a pedestrian was Hugo De La Rosa, who was in the far northbound lane of Brand Boulevard as a woman began walking in the crosswalk two lanes over, Bouzikian said.
De La Rosa said he was upset about getting ticketed, saying he didn’t see the female pedestrian until the last moment, and he didn’t feel as though a citation was warranted and neither was the police operation.
“Nobody was hurt. I wasn’t anywhere close to the lady,” he said. “It’s good [the police] are looking out for pedestrians, but if a driver is driving and isn’t hitting anybody, and unless there’s a high-hit rate, I don’t see the necessity for a stakeout.”
Bouzikian said it’s always up to the discretion of a police officer to determine whether a motorist poses a hazard to a pedestrian, and that De La Rosa will have a chance to make his case in court.
In addition to tickets, officers handed out 33 warnings along with information pamphlets about pedestrian safety, Bouzikian said.
He said pedestrian-enforcement details are typically carried out in denser areas of the city and a future operation could be held along the Brand Boulevard of Cars.
“We have dealerships complain all the time that their employees can’t get across the street without cars almost hitting them,” Bouzikian said.