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Jaywalkers Beware!

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If it wasn’t a serious situation, it would have been almost humorous today as a Sacramento Police Department motor officer stopped Jaywalkers left and right at the railroad crossing on Broadway between 19th and 20th Streets.

Some may say it’s just revenue for the police department, while others contend that the Jaywalkers coming and going from the Broadway Light Rail station are a true traffic hazard as they weave in and out of vehicles.

According to the California Vehicle Code, "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." The citing officer stated that fines vary depending on the individual’s driving record, given that this falls under the Vehicle Code.

Given the location of the Light Rail station, it is easy and almost natural for people to want to cross the street right at the railroad crossing. However, signs plainly direct pedestrians to adjacent crosswalks at the intersection of Broadway and 19th Street.

The almost-humorous part was watching people cross right in front of the officer, who was already citing three people who were waiting their turn for their little yellow piece of paper. Pedestrians found themselves without excuse as the officer pointed to the clearly posted sign that even directs people to the crosswalk just a few feet away.

In the end, pedestrians have a choice: Cross at the railroad tracks and become part of the city revenue stream, or walk a few feet to the corner to cross safely and legally.


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  • I was laughing and cheering so hard while reading your article. Finally something is being done. Safety for the pedestrian and the vehicle driver has been put aside for way too long. I am hoping this spreads not only to other lightrail stops but also to the downtown mall, Raley Field area, Capital Park area, Arden Mall and the list could go on. 3 cheers for that Sacramento Police Department motor officer!!!

  • This was an AWESOME article! I am also annoyed by the jaywalking that seems to be the norm. FINALLY a Jaywalking sting! YEAH!!!!!!

  • Steven Bourasa

    Why are people crossing the street at the railroad tracks?? The most likely reason is a bus stop right near the tracks and across the street from the lightrail station (Clearly visible in images 4, 6 & 7 of this article). If you want to be legal, it’s actually about 100 feet to the crosswalk, 30 feet crossing the street and then another 80 feet to get to the bus stop. If I was in this situation, I would take the shortest distance from point A to B.

  • Mark Forsyth

    thanks for the heads up! I’ve been warned by officers about jaywalking in midtown but never received a citation. I’ll have to be more careful now

  • Glad to see the Sac PD is clamping down on important crimes.

  • Steven Bourasa

    A nice crosswalk, next to tracks, with blinking yellow lights and a sign that reads, “Caution Pedestrians Crossing” should do the trick. Why should the poorest citizens be penalized for bad street planning? Sacramento! You are responsible for designing streets and walkways that meet the safety and needs of your citizens!

  • Although jaywalking indeed causes dangerous situations, I have found that officers have been very diligent in not only citing jaywalkers, but also stopping vehicles for MINOR traffic violations, such as a tire in the crosswalk. I honestly think these citations are not about safety but more about generating revenue. I agree with Steven Bourasa in regard to crosswalks. The city attempts to encourage people to ride their bikes, walk when possible, and use public transportation more, but where are the incentives such safe walkways, crosswalks, more bike lanes and bike racks, public parking at more of the RT stops??

  • 10 points when you hit a jaywalker.

  • If safety is such a pressing issue, I additionally would like to see better enforcement of traffic laws for drivers on streets on which there is pedestrian (and bike) traffic. My children and I have nearly been run over several times by drivers in midtown (usually J and L streets) when we were crossing a street on foot legally. The bottom line is that Sacramento, even in high-density areas, favors the automobile over the pedestrian or bicyclist. Pedestrians and bicyclists would have more respect for laws that limit their behavior if there was better enforcement of laws that protect them.

  • michelle austin

    my favorite part about this story is the click through of images – it really underlines the theme of police stopping person, after person, after person, ….. Nice job-

  • Roland James

    You know I really don’t know what to say about this one. On one hand laws need to be enforced but don’t you think a verbal warning is in order. Since officers usually have a beat they they often work in repeat offender are bound to turn up. Where is the descretion? I mean if the guy has had jaywalking tickets in the past drop the hammer but if it is a first time offender release on verbal. How hard is that. Explain to the man or woman that it is for the public safety and if caught again a citation will be issued. An officer’s job is not about revenue generation and revenue capture it is about being human and being a part of the community that you are policing. I mean I still see officers talking on cell phones. I don’t see anyone pulling them over and issuing a ticket but if the shoe was on the other foot you would be signing a citation.

  • JJ Hurley

    Quality of life policing like this is important, but it enforcement actions need to apply equally to pedestrians, motorists, and bicylists. The police should also conduct enforcement efforts that target motorists and bicylists who fail to yield to the pedestrian right of way, run red lights, and otherwise break laws designed to protect non-motorists on public streets.

  • Katina Cooper

    Maybe it’s time for the public to start using the same lame excuse that the police use. “I feared for my life and had no choice. I had to fire 6 times”.

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