Bill Silverfarb/Daily Journal
Police patrolled the intersection of Alp Avenue and Mission Street in Daly City yesterday afternoon in an effort to curb pedestrian right-of-way violations and distracted driving.
Joe Zeghbabeh had a hard time crossing the street in Daly City yesterday afternoon.
He attempted to cross Mission Street at Alp Avenue in a crosswalk but couldn’t seem to get any cars to stop for him along the busy five-lane wide stretch of road.
“Even with all these cops around, they still won’t stop,” Zeghbabeh said as about 20 motorcycle officers took to the neighborhood in an effort to protect pedestrians and curb distracted driving.
It was the fourth deployment of the San Mateo County Saturation Traffic Enforcement Program, or S.T.E.P.
Last month, police patrolled Menlo Park and Redwood City with a saturation patrol that resulted in more than 200 citations.
Yesterday, S.T.E.P. patrolled Millbrae in the morning and Daly City in the afternoon. More than 144 citations, 37 for cellphone use, were issued in Millbrae alone, Burlingame police Sgt. Jay Kiely told the Daily Journal. Most were cited for entering a crosswalk while a pedestrian was present and 24 others were cited for running stop signs.
In Daly City, police cited 63 drivers, mostly for pedestrian violations, Kiely said.
They used a decoy to cross Mission Street repeatedly for hours yesterday afternoon.
The decoy was able to cross the street safely on most attempts but not always. One time, three cars, one that sped through, entered the crosswalk while the female decoy tried to cross.
Police were able to cite two of those drivers near John Daly Boulevard.
Zeghbabeh, who owns Step Ahead Carpets right on the corner of Mission Street and Alp Avenue, said he has seen three people die in the same crosswalk over many years.
The intersection should have signals, he said.
Next month, S.T.E.P. will patrol sections of South San Francisco, San Bruno and Pacifica.
The program targets troubled traffic areas based on collision data or complaints from the community.
Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
State law prohibits the use of cellphones while driving unless the device is hands-free.
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