Police crack down on areas known for pedestrian, bike accidents

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego police focused enforcement on drivers, jaywalkers and wayward bicyclists Sunday in Hillcrest, Ocean Beach and Point Loma, part of an effort to ticket the kinds of violations that often cause vehicle crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists.

The department rolls out similar operations at least twice a month in a rotating lineup of locations throughout the city, according to Officer Mark McCullough. Sunday's operation began at 10 a.m. and runs until to 6 p.m. Routine traffic patrols are focusing on the Western Division's trouble spots, with special attention on speeding, illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Roadway fatalities are climbing in San Diego as well as statewide as electric scooters and bicycles boom in popularity alongside increasing use of cell phones while walking or driving.

Pedestrian deaths in San Diego doubled last year -- from 17 to 34 -- according to city statistics, despite Mayor Kevin Faulconer's campaign to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2025, known as Vision Zero.

The number of pedestrians seriously injured last year jumped to 93 last year, up from 75 in 2017

San Diego has added more than 50 miles of bike lanes in the five years since Faulconer took office, and construction on almost 10 miles of protected bike lanes is underway downtown.

While no bicyclists died in car accidents in San Diego in either 2017 or 2018 -- compared with three in 2016 -- severe injuries rose from 19 in 2017 to 23 last year.

Meanwhile, a city report last year found the police department's heightened enforcements had yet to result in more citations being written for drivers' and pedestrians' most dangerous behaviors.

Results from Sunday's enforcement will be available on Monday.

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