San Mateo County cracking down on distracted drivers

March 20, 2013 6:40:57 PM PDT
San Mateo County is going after distracted drivers, and apparently traffic officers didn't have any trouble finding them. It's a story you'll only see on ABC7 News.

The intersection of El Camino and Edgewood is one of the most dangerous crossings in Redwood City. On Wednesday, two dozen motorcycle officers from all over the Peninsula converged on Redwood City and Menlo Park to send a strong message to drivers.

For the motorcycle units, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. They were nabbing drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. The scenario went like this -- the police decoy crosses the street, a car whizzes by anyway, the waiting motorcycle cop goes after the car.

This was one of the eleven locations in Menlo Park and Redwood City, targeted in Wednesday's traffic enforcement operation.

"The locations are identified by traffic collision data," Burlingame police Captain Eric Wollman said. "They're also identified by citizens' complaints or business complaints."

Many times it seemed as if the police decoys were taking their lives in their own hands.

"It's kinda scary," said police decoy Carolina Gaskin. When asked if she's been run over at all, Gaskin replied, "No, not yet thank goodness, but almost!"

Check out the cars speeding by this decoy as he crossed this stretch of El Camino. Even 9-year-old Sydney Hoover knew the perils here, "If people don't stop for when the pedestrians have to cross, then it's dangerous," she said.

Drivers who were stopped had varying reactions. Some wanted to, well, remain anonymous. Others simply saw the futility of arguing with the man in blue.

"I stopped, but what can I say," said one driver. "He says I didn't, and I said I did. You know, what can I do?"

"I'm not going to contest this ticket because Menlo Park needs the money," another driver said.

Around mid-morning, police received an unexpected surprise. They arrested a drunk driver who almost crashed into another car at a stop sign. Police say he was drunk and high on prescription pills.

"The gentleman was falling over," said Burlingame police Sgt. Jay Kiely. "Literally almost fell over due to his intoxication."

Police tell us they issued about 200 citations; and it could be expensive, we're told those tickets may range anywhere from $200 to $400.

Next month officers will target Millbrae and another city that's yet to be chosen.


Load Comments