Glendale police begin issuing pedestrian tickets

As the city's focus on traffic safety intensifies, police on Thursday took a different approach on the issue and began citing pedestrians who reportedly failed to follow traffic signs.

Police cited 34 pedestrians who either jaywalked or crossed a street and ignored traffic signs during an enforcement operation targeting the walking public on Brand Boulevard between Doran and Colorado streets, Glendale Police Sgt. Mike Glassick said.

PHOTOS: Police conduct pedestrian violations operation

Officers issued another 62 warnings to pedestrians and handed out pamphlets with information about safety and obeying traffic signs, he added.

Most of the pedestrians were Glendale residents and the oldest was 80 years old.

About 85% of the citations issued were to pedestrians who stepped out from a curb as a “Don't Walk” sign flashed and a timer counted down.

Many pedestrians, he said, told officers that they thought they could continue walking because the timer was still counting.

Glassick said he planned to talk with the city's engineering department about the signals.

During the operation, officers also cited a driver who failed to yield to pedestrians in the 500 block of North Brand Boulevard, he said.

She reportedly told officers she didn't see them because she wasn't wearing her prescription glasses.

Last month, police conducted two stings that were aimed at motorists who failed to stop for undercover officers who walked across unmarked crosswalks along Central Avenue. They cited 44 motorists.

The operations were part of the Police Department's attempt to use enforcement and education to reduce the number of pedestrian-involved collisions in the city.

Last month, three women — Bekzad Shahbazian, 69, Serpouhi Gharapetian, 74, and Leleh Issakhanian, 75 — were struck and severely injured in two hit-and-run collisions, which were only a day apart. Gharapetian died days later from her injuries.

The motorists who fled have not been found.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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