March 18, 2011

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Belmont Pedestrian Decoy "STING" Operation The Belmont Police Department, in cooperation with, Millbrae, Burlingame, Foster City, San Mateo Police Departments, the San Mateo County Sheriff's San Carlos Police Bureau & the California Highway Patrol will be conducting a joint Pedestrian Decoy Operation on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 in the City of Belmont. The Belmont operation will be conducted between 8:30 AM and 2:00 PM at several intersections in Belmont. [official story continued below] EDITORIAL COMMENT: I poke fun at this piece but I literally sit near the crosswalk in front of our RE/MAX office next door to Vivace with our admin assistant and I watch day dreaming drivers nearly slaughter 30 pedestrians a day (her estimate not mine—she has a slightly better view). And the pedestrians don’t help the matter. They wait until a car is barreling down upon them and set out in front of the oncoming car as if the crosswalk afforded them some sort of "force-field" protection from a ton of metal on four wheels at 30 mph with an oblivious operator at the helm--or not. In my opinion both camps are to blame. I did a piece on this issue when they first installed the flashing lights on the street. Many pedestrians approach this with an argument “Hey, it’s the law, the cars must stop when I’m in the crosswalk so I’ll just set right out and cross whenever I want to”, as if to tempt or defy Darwin’s evolution theory of survival of the fittest; and they don’t look first...
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UPDATED VIDEO Belmont Pedestrian Decoy Program Nets 77 and 1 Accident Today the Belmont Police department held true to a promise to hold a decoy pedestrian sting operation along several locations on Ralston Ave. and El Camino Real in Belmont. The message was clear; beware of pedestrians in the crosswalk. Unfortunately it also netted one accident. Sergeant Brake mentioned in the official Belmont Police press release that the decoy had yet to step off of the curb and into the crosswalk when a truck that stopped suddenly to yield to the pedestrian and was hit from behind. However, a witness spoke to us stated the decoy had in fact actuated the crossing light and stepped into the crosswalk causing the driver to react quickly and the driver following too closely behind to not react quickly enough. To hand out this many citations is amazing in the short span of time the decoy operation was in progress. It just goes to show how important this operation was to elevate public awareness. As for the unfortunate accident that occurred, it could have happened any day with or without decoys. The goal of the operation was to raise driver awareness of pedestrians. Five (5) plain clothes "decoys", all personnel from the involved agencies, crossed at intersections, in marked crosswalks. "Our goal is to raise drivers' awareness of their responsibility to stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks", said Belmont Police Sergeant Braké, who was in charge of the operation. In all, officers made 93 enforcement stops and issued 77 citations for pedestrian right of way...

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