Speeders, crosswalk violators and distracted drivers were among the people contacted during a "successful" pedestrian safety operation conducted by the California Highway Patrol on Tuesday morning in Vandenberg Village.
The operation was held during the start of the school day at Constellation Road and Aldebaran Avenue. Its purpose, according to the CHP, was to educate and encourage members of the community to develop and maintain safe practices while driving, walking and bicycling.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, the officers working the operation had issued a total of 12 citations and given two warnings. The citations included seven for speeding, and one each for crosswalk, seat belt and stop sign violations. They also issued a pair of tickets for illegal window tint and an expired registration.
CHP Sgt. Eric Zivic said the operation succeeded in its purpose.
“It was a very successful event," Zivic said. "We had people from the school involved and they were happy to see us out there. We also had a lot of positive feedback from parents and residents in the community and a lot of high-fives from the kids, so it was very successful in my opinion.”
Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The CHP typically performs one pedestrian-specific operation per community each year but also performs other related operations, such as school zone enforcements and a school bus operation in which an officer rides on the bus and radios fellow officers about drivers who fail to obey laws related to buses.
Zivic said a school zone enforcement operation is planned near Santa Ynez Valley Union High School on Sept. 5, and another will be held in Lompoc on Sept. 21.
“Regrettably, since 2015, Santa Barbara County has experienced a high number of injury traffic collisions involving pedestrians,” read a portion of a CHP release. “The CHP is committed to preventing these tragic events and is leading the effort with proactive enforcement and education programs.”