29 drivers stopped in Carson City crosswalk sting | NevadaAppeal.com

29 drivers stopped in Carson City crosswalk sting

Deputies Cole Sonnemann and Mike Gibson, along with Cortney Bloomer of Carson City Health and Human Services cross North Carson Street in a pedestrian crosswalk sting late last month.
JIm Grant / jgrant@nevadaappeal.com | Nevada Appeal

Walt Castaneda says he was happy to see the sheriff’s deputies out enforcing the law requiring cars to stop for pedestrians crossing north Carson Street.

Castaneda, who lives across the busy street from the Grocery Outlet, says he has had far too many close calls with drivers who didn’t stop.

“I’ve come close,” he said. “They’re either going too fast or not paying attention.”

Most, he said, stop, but “they act like they’re doing you a favor by stopping.”

A team of two motorcycle officers, two patrol vehicles and Sgt. Scott McDaniel set up in two key locations on Carson Street Tuesday to try to educate drivers the law requires they yield to pedestrians on crosswalks.

But Cortney Bloomer of the Carson City Health Department said the pedestrians need some education as well because too many of them walk into traffic while texting or otherwise not paying attention. Bloomer, coordinator for the Safe Routes to School program, said that’s especially needed in the area near Carson High School.

“People shouldn’t be texting and walking,” she said.

McDaniel said Tuesday’s event was “basically a warning event unless some one comes close to our guys.” Shortly after he said two deputies wearing bright orange vests had to step back as a woman in an SUV went through the crosswalk on north Carson rather than stop. She immediately got a visit from one of the two motorcycle officers.

McDaniel said for the most part drivers were being good about yielding to pedestrians.

“We’ve had more stops for speeding than pedestrians,” he said. “It looks like for the most part, the public is starting to get the message.”

He said it’s an important message because there has been a rash of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in Nevada over the past couple of months.

He joined Bloomer in pointing out the pedestrians must share responsibility in these situations, especially since the average motor vehicle weighs 4,000 pounds and the average person about 185 pounds.

“The math is simple: when the two meet, the results can be deadly,” McDaniel said.

They said because most of those accidents occur at night, pedestrians can do themselves a favor by wearing bright clothing and reflective gear. Even in daylight, he said people should make sure the approaching driver sees them and acknowledges their presence before stepping off the curb.

“You’ve got to make yourself as visible as possible,” he said.

Tuesday’s event later moved south to the am-pm store just south of the Ormsby House where, almost immediately, a driver in a large white SUV simply ignored the two deputies walking across the street and drove through the intersection — and was quickly stopped by a deputy.

Altogether, 29 drivers were stopped at the two locations Tuesday. McDaniel said 21 of those were for failing to stop for a pedestrian in a cross walk.

There were also two stops for following too closely, four for speeding and two for cellphone use.

The majority got off with a warning.

“That was the whole point of this,” he said. “Education.”