Union Democrat staff

Thirty citations were written Friday by law enforcement officers conducting a pedestrian safety operation in Sonora.

The California Highway Patrol, Sonora Police Department, California Department of Parks and Recreation, and Cal Fire conducted the operation on Washington Street at Elkin Street, Greenley Road at Guzzi Lane, and Parrotts Ferry Road at State Street.

The operation also resulted in 13 warnings.

It was the second such operation in the past 10 days and was the result of an outcry from the public about pedestrian safety.

A Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) heat map distributed by a Caltrans official at a city of Sonora merchants meeting at the end of June indicated that 50 collisions occurred on Washington Street between Stockton Road and Elkin Street in downtown Sonora from 2010 to 2016.

The heat map from SWITRS was based on provisional data provided to the state and came from a different database system than is used by Caltrans.

Caltrans previously identified 17 collisions occurred between vehicles and pedestrians or vehicles and bicycles between 2010 and 2014, based on a March Traffic Safety Division investigation of Highway 49 in Sonora, which includes data from unidentified side streets also in the downtown area.

About 16,250 vehicles travel on the street each day, of which about 7 percent are commercial trucks. About 1,600 vehicles travel on the street per hour during peak times of the day.

CHP Friday issued a list of safe practices:

• Drivers should be on the lookout for and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

• Drivers should slow down when in an area where pedestrians are likely to be.

• Never pass a car stopped for pedestrians.

• Pedestrians should cross at the corner, at crosswalks, or intersections wherever possible.

• Pedestrians should look both ways for traffic before crossing, make eye contact with the driver, and make certain cars are yielding before crossing.

• Pedestrians should wear bright colored, reflective clothing and use a flashlight when walking during hours of darkness.

The enforcement operation was paid for with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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