Members of Ceres Police Department's traffic enforcement unit were out Friday morning in a special operation to crackdown on unsafe pedestrian practices in the streets.
Motorcycle officers Jason Coley and Keith Kitcher and Sgt. Chris Perry spent time patrolling the area around Ceres school campuses, with particular focus around Ceres High School, Central Valley High School, Walter White Elementary School and Caswell Elementary School. The officers were using the new Zero electric motorcycles.
"We issued to several pedestrians this morning," said Sgt. Perry, "primarily high school ages."
He estimated that seven citations were issued for illegal crossing of streets but there were also about 20 warnings given.
"We issued a few to parents like over in the Caswell area, in the Central/Darrah area where you've got parents that are holding their little kids' hand and instead of going down to the lighted crosswalk where there's a crossing guard they're just darting out in traffic and running across the street making cars hit their brakes pretty hard to avoid hitting them."
Coley said that parents should be informed about the safe way to drop off and pick up their children. It's unsafe to stop in lanes of traffic to deliver or pick up pedestrians. It's better, officers said, to park where its' safe and walk their children to the campus by use of crosswalks rather than crossing midblock.
The six-hour enforcement operation period was funded by a $48,425 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant administered through the California Office of Traffic Safety. Police also cited motorists for other violations while looking for unsafe pedestrian movements.
Other similar enforcements will take place to help lower the incidences of traffic problems around schools.
Earlier this year Ceres police put into use three Zero electric motorcycles which are perfect for enforcement because they allow officers to stealthily approach violators without making noise.