Donor Supporters

Jessie Ong

Alhambra Source provides objective and important news reporting for our community.

Efren Moreno, Former Alhambra Mayor

Thank you Alhambra Source for truly informing the residents of Alhambra.

Jeff Maloney, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source has become an important source for news, public interest, and serious journalism in our community. Keep it up!

Sara Harris

As a career journalist and EJ advocate, I see community-based media like the Alhambra Source as crucial to democracy and equality.

Chris Olson

I support Alhambra Source as often as I can because I believe a free and independent press is vital to the democratic process. No other news outlet with high journalistic standards consistently covers the stories and issues that matter to our community.

Adele Andrade Stadler, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source is a great independent newspaper that celebrates the communities and is not afraid to ask the tough questions!

Cliff Bender, Vice President, Alhambra Education Foundation

I want to know what's going on in my community- News, events, and human interest stories. The Alhambra Source gives me the information I need.

Joyce & Oscar Amaro, Alhambra Preservation Group

We support Alhambra Source because this online news source is vitally important in engaging, informing and educating the residents of Alhambra.

Laura Vasquez

Alhambrans need to know the truth about our area!

Michael Lawrence, Alhambra Arts Commissioner

Keep bringing on the stories. The Source has given us so much and I am happy to donate to such an important part of our community.

Karsen Luthi

Thank you for creating Alhambra Source and providing timely reporting of important local news. Fight on!

Mr. Konnyaku

I support news reporting that is unbiased and informative. Really enjoy the excellent coverage on local city council and planning commission meetings.

Guadulesa Rivera

Alhambra Source unifies the community and keeps us involved.

Erwin Lee

Such a valuable source of what’s happening in city where we live. Objective reporting that informs us and allows us to come to our own conclusions.

Pedestrian enforcement from the inside

Have you ever driven through a crosswalk with a pedestrian still walking through it?  And then exhaled deeply in relief when you didn’t see flashing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror — or much worse, hit someone? 

A pedestrian crossing the strret.

Well, I had a chance to see it from the other side, courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department, and accompanied them on a pedestrian enforcement operation, otherwise known as, “You’ll get a ticket if you drive through a crosswalk when a plainclothes police officer is walking in it.” 

At 7 a.m. on a Thursday morning, I headed to the Alhambra Police Department where I met Sgt. Gabriel Ponce, the Traffic Section supervisor. He gave me a ride in the mobile-home sized Command Center trailer to the corner of Valley Boulevard and Date Avenue.

Already there were eight motorcycle officers — an impressive if not intimidating sight — and department support staff was standing by. Two plainclothes officers crossed the street while police from Alhambra and nearby cities ensured that drivers followed California law, which states that a vehicle must yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

Police officers wait at the corner of Valley and Date

Pedestrian safety operations enforce traffic laws where there had been previous accidents or complaints by residents, schools, or other community members about pedestrian safety, Ponce explained. Alhambra, which has one of the highest rates in the state for car collisions involving elderly pedestrians, conducts the enforcement operations about every other month.

Three of the motorcycle officers on Thursday were from Alhambra while the others were from Monterey Park, San Gabriel, San Marino, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (Temple City).  The sharing of resources between agencies enables each to undertake enforcement operations it could not accomplish by itself.

A clearly marked intersection

The crosswalk spanning Valley Boulevard at Date Avenue is well marked with bright green neon signs clearly mounted on light poles adjacent to the crosswalk, as well as similar signs half a block prior to the crosswalk that warn motorists a crosswalk is ahead. So I did not anticipate seeing a lot of motorists being pulled over during the next few hours. 

I could not have been more wrong.

Ponce and I stood at the southeast corner, clearly visible to traffic.  This should have been the first clue to drivers, but Ponce said it would not make a difference.  He was right.  As we watched the plainclothes officers walk back and forth across the street within the crosswalk, car after car sped through, some passing so close that I uttered an involuntary “Whoa”.

Alfred Garcia, the owner of Ventie’s Barber Shop — which has been at the intersection of Valley and Date for more than 20 years — told me the crosswalk posed a hazard to pedestrians. “The cars aren’t going 35 mile per hour [the posted speed limit], they’re doing 45-50,” Garcia said. “You look both ways, you think you’re clear, and before you know it, because they’re driving so fast, they’re on top of you.  For an elderly person crossing this street, it’s no good.” 

The purpose of the decoy operation is to educate Alhambra drivers.

In one instance during the decoy operation, a hapless driver passed within 20 feet of the decoy officer, then suddenly stopped in his traffic lane about 10 feet past the crosswalk. While this could have been a nervous reaction to the law enforcement presence, it could also have been due to a lack of understanding of traffic laws. The Police Department has made efforts to inform the public. “We sent out information to schools that explain what all the colored curbs mean, such as the red zone and white curbs, and the  schools can distribute this information to the students.  It’s part of the education process,” Ponce said. He added that the department's goal is to provide traffic related information in other languages to educate the City’s immigrant population.

Another surprise was the sheer volume of obvious violations, which are videotaped in case they are contested.  When I first saw the eight motorcycle officers lined up on Date, I thought that there might not be enough traffic violations to keep them busy. After the first 15 minutes, I realized they could have had twice the amount of officers and still not have had enough to stop every vehicle that could have been issued a citation. An officer issuing a citation Not everyone was happy with the enforcement operation. Hellen Wang, who has worked in Alhambra for three years, was cited by officers and didn’t feel she deserved it.  “[The decoy pedestrian] had only walked two steps from the south curb when I got to the intersection,” said Wang. “I thought he walked too quickly and I was too close to the crosswalk to stop.”

By 11:30 a.m., the final tally was 71 citations and 12 verbal warnings, on par with totals from previous pedestrian enforcement efforts, and there could have justifiably been many more.  So count yourself as lucky if you were on Valley during morning rush hour last week and you didn’t receive a ticket.  Count yourself as doubly lucky if you are a pedestrian that crosses Valley at Date.  Thanks to the pedestrian enforcement operation, you’ll be safer, at least for a little while.

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

Leave a Reply

23 thoughts on “Pedestrian enforcement from the inside”

  1. I’m not sure I like the Police Trap approach with 100% ticketing. It only makes the locals angry at the police. There should be a fair amount warning especially for out of towners as well.
    I visit the Boiling Crab restaurant at the specifically targeted crosswalk frequently and live on 4th and Valley. So I see what happens here quite a bit. If the city is paying over time or fighting lawsuits for accidents and personal injuries here. They’re wasting money doing so. The crosswalk is not visible enough and the sign is to small fot a 5 lane boulevard.
    If there’s any budget within the city they should install the lastest Crosswalks that have flashing lights inlaid with the painted lines. It imediately begins to flash brightly at the press of the button. If anyone’s interested in seeing one, they have one located in S. Pasadena on Garfield and Oak St for the YMCA. I also have one at my work in Glendale where they had a similar crosswalk issue. And that flashing light makes the cars stop quickly. Best thing ever.
    This is far more benificial than a small sign and a reliance on driver’s competence.

  2. 71 tickets to people who are just trying to get to work on time on one of the most badly congested through ways in SGV, for violating an interpreted traffic law. Awesome.

    I clearly remember being taught in drivers ed (and a couple of online traffic schools since then) that you’re suppose to wait for people to cross before continuing. Logic tells me this means as soon as a pedestrian clears my car, whether coming, or going, I’m allowed to go. If APD tickets me, I’m going to show up in traffic court and contest. This is clearly a revenue scheme, just like LAPD ticketing jay walking in DTLA.

    Speaking of safety: why are these police officers

    1. Sino,
      I support the ticketing and the effort to bring some order to the chaos on our main traffic streets. I have tried to cross Valley many times in a crosswalk and believe me it is a scary experience. Sometime you get half way across and the oncoming traffic just will not stop and they zoom past you at full speed. I have never seen everyone stop as you might see in other cities so we do have a public education problem. I have always been taught and practiced the rule that if you see a pedestrian waiting or stepping into a crosswalk you MUST stop. This does not seem to be the case here in Alhambra. I suggest you give it a try on Valley or Garfield and see how you like it.

  3. To Joe Soong: The caption of one of the photos reads “The purpose of the decoy operation is to educate Alhambra drivers.” So I guess running a sting operation, arresting pedophiles, sending criminals to jail, or shooting dead a bank robber are all to educate the public. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for these law enforcements.

  4. I appreciate that the police are looking for different ways of enforcing the laws for drivers, but lets make sure we don’t overlook the jaywalking laws as well, and write-up pedestrians who don’t follow them.

    Lets also not forget – as I have stated in another comment – that speeding is the biggest issue with cars here and we need to enforce those laws too. I fully realize what a tough job our police have, and I think that us citizens need to police ourselves for the good of all.

    In regards to pedestrians and those on bikes: They may need as much “education” as the drivers, and as I have stated before, pedestrians will always lose in a confrontation with a car. I never assume a car is going to stop for me. The police can’t be everywhere, and I don’t expect them to be there for me every time I cross the street.

    Here is what I have found on pedestrian laws(correct me if I am wrong, I am not a lawyer):

    California Vehicle Code: Division 11 states that:

    Pedestrians must yield right-of-way to vehicles EXCEPT at marked or unmarked crosswalks. (CVC 21954) (I think this means that something can be designated as a crosswalk even if it is not marked??)

    Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a CROSSWALK. (CVC 21955)

    Local laws can prohibit pedestrians from crossing roads at other than crosswalks. (CVC 21961)

    1. CVC 275 defines “crosswalk” but not “unmarked crosswalk” (explicitly). However, a unmarked crosswalk can be viewed as one formed by the imaginary lines extended from one street to the other side in an intersection. I don’t know whether there is marked crosswalk at Valley and Date. If there isn’t, then one can imagine that there were indeed some painted or marked crosswalk there, and that’s the unmarked crosswalk; and drivers shall yield ROW to pedestrians. But one cannot imagine some crosswalk lines in the middle of a block.
      Here is a story about a Riverside police car hit a pedestrian: http://blog.pe.com/crime-blotter/2012/09/28/fatal-riverside-police-colli… The police argue that it was not their fault because it was not a “unmarked crosswalk” sort of due to the fact that the two intersecting streets are not perpendicular and there are some planters in between.
      Laws are complicated. I think most people agree that “Drivers shall stop until there are no pedestrians within the crosswalk” is clearer and thus easier to understand than “Drivers shall yield ROW to pedestrians within the crosswalk”. If the law says “Drivers shall yield ROW” instead of “Drivers shall stop” then it is likely that the law does not simply mean “Drivers shall stop”.

    2. @Joesph: I think your question regarding jaywalking might be a good question – along with Someone’s question about what it means to yield – for the Alhambra Source to ask the police if they bring back the “Ask a Cop” segment.

      The DMV web site highlights the same three sections to the California Vehicle Code that apply to jaywalking.

      Vehicle Code 21954: “(a) Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.

      (b) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”

      I highlighted what might be the key part of this code section. It would seem that as long as the pedestrian isn’t creating a hazard they can cross anyplace in the roadway. This would allow us to cross in the middle of our residential blocks when cars aren’t coming but also bar pedestrians from crossing in the middle of a block on Valley or Fremont when those roads have cars on them (i.e. most of the day and night). However, it seems to say that you can even cross in the middle of the block on busy streets if cars aren’t coming. In addition, it does not negate other parts to the code that say pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections, whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked, unless prohibited.

      Vehicle Code 21955: “Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.”

      Adjacent intersections likely means intersections that are “immediately preceding or following” each other. For example, Valley has adjacent intersections with signals at Atlantic and 9th Street (See Map); however, Valley and Olive, which is the other intersection adjacent to Valley/Atlantic, does not have a signal. In which case, pedestrians may cross Valley in the middle of the block between Olive and Atlantic when cars are not coming but may not cross Valley between Atlantic and Ninth Street regardless of whether any cars are present.

      Vehicle Code 21961: “This chapter does not prevent local authorities from adopting ordinances prohibiting pedestrians from crossing roadways at other than crosswalks.”

      While this may apply to Alhambra, it appears the city has not taken advantage of this section. I looked at Alhambra’s Municipal Code and ran a few searches but did not see restrictions that requires pedestrians to cross at marked or unmarked crosswalks.

      In contrast, Monterey Park explicitly addresses jaywalking in its code. The Monterey Park Code explicitly permits jaywalking when crossing the street perpendicular to the curb (“No pedestrian shall cross a roadway at any place other than by a route at right angles to the curb or by the shortest route to the opposite curb except in a marked crosswalk.” 10.56.030). The only exception occurs in business districts, where the Monterey Park Municipal Code forbids jaywalking (“No pedestrian shall cross a roadway other than by a crosswalk in any business district,” 10.56.020).

      I don’t see too many people jaywalking in Alhambra outside of residential neighborhoods so I’m not sure it is much of a problem. If it is a problem then perhaps Alhambra should follow Monterey Park and directly address jaywalking in the code and prohibit crossing outside a marked cross walk in business districts (e.g. Valley and Main) and major arterials (e.g. Atlantic, and Garfield). I’d support your efforts to explicitly create such an ordinance, especially if paired with changes to the roadways, which are designed to improve pedestrian safety and walkability.

      I agree with you about needing to educate bicyclists; however, that needs to come with a bike plan, which gives safer routes. When I do ride, which isn’t too often, I ride on certain sidewalks out of safety concerns. For example, riding on Glendon near Atlantic is a death wish. I do walk my bike across Atlantic and stop for pedestrians.

      This is not legal advice so please don’t rely on what I’ve written. I didn’t research this question in-depth.

    3. Where is the post I posted Saturday morning?

  5. Sadly, this sort of enforcement project is not enough on its own. If we truly are serious about making the city safer for pedestrians then we need to focus on designing our roadways with pedestrians in mind, slowing down cars if necessary, and giving more time for pedestrians to cross streets at signals. For example, at intersections with pedestrian crosswalks, sidewalks can be brought further into the street. This serves three purposes: (1) pedestrians are given more prominence so they can be seen more easily, as well as giving drivers an an easier time identifying pedestrians who intend to cross the street versus those who may be loitering or visiting a corner shop; (2) pedestrians have less roadway to cross, which is particularly helpful for seniors and others who may have disabilities; and (3) cars tend to go slower when a roadway narrows. Not all intersections on Valley have pedestrian crossings so only those that do would require a bulging sidewalk to give driver these visual cues.

  6. To “someone”:

    Do you have a driver’s license? If yes, then the understanding is you should know the law. Remember that form you signed for you license?

    Instead of blaming the police for taking enforcement action in an effort to protect lives (not an exaggeration), you should educate yourselves and others. And yield means to give way until it is safe to proceed. If that means you have to “stop” then stop. Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be.

    1. 1. I did my homework and included clear evidence that (some interpretations of) the law is consistent with what I believe is reasonable driving practice. If you cannot produce rational arguments, it only shows that you are the one who is ignorant of the law. Your “arguments” that “Do you have a license? …” are just emotional remarks and don’t stand up in court. If you trace further the link I provided and also do some research on the Internet, you may learn something, I hope. I think you are the one who needs to educate yourself.
      2. I never blamed the police for taking enforcement action. Did I? I said educating the public is better than giving out tickets, and made a specific suggestion that APD put up some videos to help people understand what is required by the law. You don’t agree with that? You have a problem with that?

  7. “The Police Department has made efforts to inform the public.” Good. Educating the public is indeed better than putting together a bunch of officers handing out tickets. If APD is so mindful of pedestrian safety, which is admirable, I have a suggestion: Post some videos on APD’s Facebook page showing what circumstances under which a driver is required to stop when a pedestrian is crossing the road. Frankly I just don’t think it is safe or reasonable for me to hit the brake if a car is closely behind me, the moment the guy’s toes contact the crosswalk, or he is walking toward the curb in the other direction. CVC 21950(a) says “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection …” What is yield? Does that simply mean stop until no pedestrian is within the crosswalk? Are there other ways to yield? You are on a freeway on-ramp and try to merge into the traffic, there is a YIELD sign there. You certainly won’t stop there until there are no other cars in the freeway before entering it, will you? If the ped is walking away from your side of the road, is there anything to yield to begin with? If one interprets “yield” as “not impeding the progress of the ped”, then there are many ways to yield. Read Post #3 at http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109454
    I am not trying to be a lawyer here. I am trying to show that the law is not as clear as many people, maybe including the reporter, thinks. There is a need for the police to educate the public, and they should.

    1. @Someone said: “Frankly I just don’t think it is safe or reasonable for me to hit the brake if a car is closely behind me, the moment the guy’s toes contact the crosswalk, or he is walking toward the curb in the other direction.”

      Yield means you give the other party the right of way. In the case of pedestrians, it generally means you give the entire roadway. Where there is a raised median, such as on Valley, you give them the right of way from the moment they enter the street at the curb until they reach the raised median. Then you go.

      You still have an obligation to stop, even if someone is tailgating you. And if someone is tailgating too closely to stop then it would be reasonable for you to slow down. This is especially true anyplace there is a marked pedestrian crosswalk.

      1. Dan, I absolutely respect your opinion. And I think many, even maybe the police, share it. But with all due respect, it looks like it’s just your opinion. I did some research and as you can see from the link I provided, CHP allegedly said “pedestrians in crosswalks do not have an unlimited right-of-way, but only a qualified one. For example, motorists need not wait for pedestrians to finish crossing before they pass through a crosswalk, if drivers do so at a reasonably safe distance from the pedestrians at a reasonably safe speed.” “People vs. McLachlan (1939) Cal. App. 2d Supp. 754: Although the crossing pedestrians were still in the crosswalk, the motorist had a right to pass at a safe speed and at a safe distance from the pedestrian. People vs. Hahn (1950) 98 Cal. App. 2d Supp. 841: the duty upon the driver is not so expressed that he is required to wait until the crosswalk is clear; his duty is to wait only if necessary to avoid interference with the pedestrian. Thus the standard is “reasonable expectations.” If interference between the driver and the pedestrian is not reasonably expected, the driver is not required to wait for the pedestrian.” (http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109454) How would you comment on these? You agree that it’s better that APD offer some education to the public so at least we know what APD interprets and expects?

      2. @Someone: You are correct. That is my personal opinion (not a legal opinion) and is what I was taught when I learned to drive. I also think it is the rule-of-thumb disseminated by the DMV. This understanding has some support in the text of the two cases you cite.

        People v. Hahn, 98 Cal. App. 2d Supp. 841 (1950) (emphasis is my own), states:
        “In answering the question the evident purpose of the statute, which is to secure safe passage for the pedestrian, should be kept in mind. His right of way is not to be measured in fractions of an inch nor tested by split seconds. He is entitled not to just as much space as his body, clothes and buttons require, but to as much as will afford him a safe passage, one that can be taken without either physical interference or such a threat of interference that will reasonably cause him to step back or hesitate in his going. The pedestrian’s heart, as well as his body, should be free from attack.”

        In addition, People v. McLachlan, 36 Cal. App. 2d Supp. 754 (1939) (emphasis is my own), states: “While the statute does not require a driver to [stop] in all cases, even if a pedestrian is somewhere in the crosswalk, yet the driver must stop whenever that course is necessary to the discharge of his duty to yield the right of way, and the inquiry into his conduct may properly extend to the matter of stopping as a part of the res gestae.”

        My take is that this is an objective test. Whether a driver is driving prudently is judged according to what the reasonable driver would have done. Similarly, whether a driver gives enough space is judged by the reasonable pedestrian, which would consider whether the pedestrian was able to walk across the street “without either physical interference or such a threat of interference that will reasonably cause him to step back or hesitate in his going”. My guess is that courts will review this question on a case-by-case basis (People v. Hahn also states “Whether or not a driver of an ordinary passenger car . . . has failed to do his duty, is a factual question”). Rightly or wrongly, I think that a judge or jury would be more likely to side with a police officer who testifies that s/he witnessed a motorist not pass at what the police officer felt was a reasonably safe distance or speed.

        I understand what you mean by relying on an authoritative source; however, at this point in time I think the DMV is a much more authoritative source than the link you provide. The letter allegedly written by the CHP is not on the CHP web site and I cannot find anyplace where the CHP actually did provide that advice. The officer named appears real. He is a public information officer based out of the Victorville CHP office so it is possible this letter is real, but it is also possible someone dropped his name on something they concocted. This is the Internet after all. Either way, and without in-depth research, I presume the DMV’s web site was drafted or edited by its attorneys and likely gives us a good idea about how courts rule today.

        Nevertheless, I’m reading the same material you are. I’m not sure if these cases remain good law, if they’ve been abrogated by revised statutes or overruled by subsequent court decisions. If you wish, you can research this matter more in downtown L.A. for FREE. You can access an electronic legal research database and law books at the L.A. County Law Library. You can see if there are more recent cases citing these cases or to the statute, and you can find out if these cases are still good law.

        Perhaps the Alhambra Source can also follow-up with the police department to get an actual statement as to what the police expect from motorists approaching a pedestrian crossing a street inside and outside a crosswalk, in addition to rules for pedestrians. It used to have an Ask the Cop segment that would be perfect for a more detailed and specific response. For now, I’ll continue to be the annoying driver who waits for a pedestrian to clear at least one lane beyond me, if not a bit more, before I jet forward.

        I do agree with you that education is important but it may be better given on a statewide or even regional level. After all, this is a state law (Alhambra does not appear to have an ordinance regarding this). Many people driving through Alhambra do not live here. They commute through the city, shop and do business in Alhambra, and visit with friends and family here. A good example is Ms. Wang who is quoted in the article as working in the City. She likely would not have received the material distributed through the schools. So, a city-wide education campaign may not be effective. Also, region or statewide messaging would benefit us all no matter where we are in the state or region. On the local level, our attention should be on enforcement, which on its own serves as education of how the city interprets the law through press and word-of-mouth stories, and by designing an environment that is safe for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

      3. The problem of DMV’s advice is that it may be a very good suggestion but it may not have anything to do with the law. Police advise you to lock the doors before you go out. That certainly is excellent advice; but it does not mean if you don’t lock your doors, you would be breaking the law and may get a ticket.
        I am not arguing any traffic case before a court, nor am I writing an academic article to publish in Harvard Law Review. So I probably will not do more research. I think those who get paid with taxpayer money are responsible for telling us what the law says and means. I don’t care whether it’s regional or city-wide; but I am pessimistic that any public official would take on that challenge. I don’t think even AAA would really tell us the truth. They don’t want to be accused of causing accidents; so they’d rather promote “safety” than awareness of law (or rights). And of course there is the revenue issue for the municipal govts. You don’t believe the police’s claim that their issuing tickets has nothing to do with fines, do you? We all know that two LA police officers won a multi-million dollar lawsuit claiming that LAPD gave them ticket quotos, which Chief Beck denied and said those are just “targets”. Beck must be a PhD in linguistics and literature. And talk about San Gabriel Police …

      4. @Someone: If you think the law is vague then I recommend you approach a member of the Legislature to revise it for clarity, or a member of the City Council to include an ordinance that more clearly identifies a motorist’s obligations when a pedestrian in a crosswalk. I’d support a law that explicitly states that motorists must stop while a pedestrian is in a crosswalk.
        Beyond that we’ll need to agree to disagree. I don’t think the law is quite as unclear as you do nor am I as skeptical about the reasons for the police department’s enforcement action and take the officer at his word in this particular instance. Alhambra is the most dangerous city in California for senior citizens and among the most dangerous for all pedestrians. Enforcement actions like the one detailed in this article are among the various things the City should do to improve pedestrian safety.

      5. I think I already said I am pessimistic that any public official would do much about this. I never opposed enforcing the law; but at the very beginning I said educating the public is better the handing out tickets. That may be our difference.

      6. Let me just say one more thing about Chief Beck. When LAPD got sued, he said quota and target are different; when they ticket you, I bet he will say yield and stop are the same. That’s the police leadership we have today.

    2. BTW: a quick search turned up this web site, put together by the California DMV.

      “Respect the right-of-way of pedestrians. Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block, at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted lines.”

      The DMV web site also provides the relevant California Vehicle Code section,Cal.V.C. 21950 (emphasis added):
      “(a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

      (b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

      (c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.

      (d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”

      In laws, shall means something is mandatory.

      1. DMV’s advice or Driver Handbook is not as authoritative as court cases. And it may just be a suggestion; it does not say it is interpreting the law. And my problem, and most people’s problem, is not the word ‘shall’. I would say it is the phrase ‘yield the right-of-way.’ If the law simply says ‘stop’, then it would make it much easier for all. But it doesn’t. (It is only DMV’s suggestion that it means ‘stop.’) For example, for the sake of argument, if I interpret ‘yield’ as ‘not interfere’ or ‘not impede the progress of the pedestrian’, there is a lot of room for discussion and argument.

  8. I think the reporter would have done us a greater service if he had the police explained what exactly the law requires drivers do, at least as the APD interprets it. (That would have been more in-depth and useful reporting.) For example, does it mean once the pedestrian’s foot is on the road or even just standing on the curbside, every driver on both directions have to hit the brake immediately? I once read a report that CHP said there is no hard and fast rule and it all depends on the situation, something like whether it is reasonably safe to cross. I once observed a Monterey Park police car made a right turn on red from Garvey to Atlantic when a pedestrian was in the middle of the other side of the road. So I guess it is not necessary for the entire crossing to be clear of pedestrians.

  9. Nice work, Joe! Fighting crime with Alhambra's finest. I always knew you had some vigilante in you.