Police enforce pedestrian safety in Glendale

Police issued warnings and citations Thursday to dozens of people who were reportedly unlawfully dashing across Brand Boulevard.

Twenty people were cited for reportedly failing to obey pedestrian signals at crosswalks along Brand and Central Avenue between Colorado Street and the Ventura (134) Freeway, Glendale Police Sgt. Harout Bouzikian said.

"Mostly, they were trying to get somewhere quickly," he said.

While some pedestrians were cited, 18 people were issued warnings for the same violation.

One of the pedestrians who received warnings was an out-of-state visitor who was confused about the city's pedestrian signals, Bouzikian said.

The countdown signals have been known to confound pedestrians. They believe the countdown is advising them they still have time to enter the crosswalk, which is incorrect. It is actually notifying those already in the walkway.

"That's what our problem is," Bouzikian said.

Police also cited six motorists for allegedly failing to stop for pedestrians. A driver also received a ticket for driving through a red light, he said.

Police have stepped-up enforcement on city streets, following last year's traffic statistics that showed an increase in pedestrian-involved collisions.

Traffic-related fatalities also jumped from two in 2012 to six last year. A bulk of the fatalities involved residents who were struck by motorists while walking in Glendale.

It appeared the trend could continue this year after another Glendale resident was killed by a motorist on Jan. 27 while he was in a crosswalk.

Days later, police conducted an undercover enforcement operation at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Hawthorne Street, where they cited 28 motorists mostly for allegedly failing to stop for a pedestrian.

That same week, the Glendale chapter of the Armenian National Committee hosted a traffic safety panel to discuss the city's ongoing problem with pedestrian-involved collisions.

Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro wants to expand on the recent efforts with a campaign aimed at getting the community involved in the city's traffic-safety issues.

Bouzikian said pedestrians could also avoid getting hit by making sure they are careful when crossing a street. As they cross a street, they should make sure each traffic lane is clear.


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


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