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Drivers Stung in a Sting Come Close to Hitting Pedestrians

A crackdown on drivers who won’t stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk is underway in Santa Barbara and Goleta.

A special sting was set up in several locations today and more will take place tomorrow.

Santa Barbara Police, Sheriff and the California Highway Patrol are involved, in a united effort. Multiple motorcycle cops were assigned to the special task force.

City workers acting as decoys waited until cars were well back from a pre-marked legal site on the road before they entered the crosswalk. Any driver who still went through was then targeted by a patrol officer with lights and sirens on.

At one point three cars went past a pedestrian and a trio of officers took off to write tickets.

“Every place we selected today has been based on citizen complaints and traffic collision data – people that have been injured in those intersections,” said Santa Barbara Police Sgt. Mike McGrew.

The sting was watched very carefully by city traffic officials who are planning to add more pedestrian crossing lights in the most dangerous areas. They look at multiple factors besides issues police are enforcing.

“Plus what’s around there? Are there high pedestrian destinations? A library, schools, they are high on our lists.,” said Traffic Engineer Derrick Bailey. “We take everything into consideration. Safety is the biggest factor.”

Tom Becker, a resident who says he doesn’t want any cars around when he crosses, said, “I just wait until there are no cars coming at me then I go. I am a very patient person, and I value my life and limb.”

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