So far this year, there have been five fatal accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists in Garden Grove.
In all of 2015 there were three: one vehicle vs. pedestrian fatality and two vehicle vs. bicyclist fatalities, said Sgt. Patrick Gildea, who runs the GGPD’s Neighborhood Traffic Unit.
In response to the uptick in fatalities and other injury accidents, the Garden Grove PD began focusing in August on cracking down on street safety, which resulted in the and issuing of more than 300 citations for violations of traffic laws related to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Now, the GGPD is participating in the first-ever specially designated California Pedestrian Safety Month, as designated by the California State Senate via resolution for September.
The campaign draws attention to the 813 pedestrians killed on California roadways in 2015, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all roadways deaths in the state, up from 17 percent from 10 years ago, according to a news release.
The GGPD will be joining other law enforcement agencies, city and state transportation agencies, pedestrian advocates and walking clubs to promote public awareness aimed at both drivers and pedestrians to always be aware of each other and share the road responsibly.
The GGPD will step up pedestrian safety enforcement operations on various days of the week with focused enforcement on collision-causing factors involving motorists and pedestrians, the news release said.
Routine traffic patrols will focus efforts on trouble spots while special targeted patrols will be deployed to crack down on drivers and pedestrians who violate traffic laws.
Officers will be looking for traffic offenses made by drivers and pedestrians that can lead to life-changing injuries — or worse.
Both drivers and walkers are cautioned to put down cell phones, since electronic distractions are seen as a reason for the increase in the number of pedestrian-related crashes.
Other factors for drivers include speeding and failure to see and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and intersections.
For pedestrians, the major dangers are jaywalking and thinking they can be seen at night, especially while wearing dark clothing.
A significant number of injury traffic collisions have resulted from pedestrians not using crosswalks and/or crossing the street outside of a crosswalk in poorly lit areas.
In addition to local efforts, the California Office of Traffic Safety is kicking off a new campaign, “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor,” which highlights the importance of pedestrian safety awareness, regardless of whether one is on foot or behind the wheel.
Caltrans has kicked off its new California State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan aimed at improving safety and access for everyone across all modes, particularly bicycle and pedestrian.
And the CHP is emphasizing safe walking through its international award winning California Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Enforcement and Education Project.