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Manteca targets pedestrian safety with stepped up effort by police
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There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that it isn’t safe at times to walk across the streets of Manteca.

Pedestrians complain about distracted drivers on cell phones rolling through stop signs. They tell of drivers cutting in front of them as they make their way across crosswalks.

At the same time motorists point out pedestrians sometimes don’t even look before stepping into the street.

While Manteca doesn’t have an abundance of vehicle versus pedestrian accidents and hasn’t recorded a pedestrian fatality for years, the city doesn’t want to wait for a tragedy to strike.

Manteca’s leaders are considering accepting a $4,090 California Department of Health Mini Grant when they meet during Tuesday’s 7 p.m. council meeting to conduct a pedestrian safety education campaign.  It will include a stepped up enforcement effort through June 15

It dovetails into past targeted pedestrian crosswalk sting operations undertaken by the Manteca Police. In such events where decoys are used at crosswalks, officers have issued tickets to motorists who they said clearly were in violation of the intent of the state law. Officers issuing citations in the sting operation gave motorists leeway and concentrated instead on those who came too close to pedestrians. State law gives motorists who step into the street the right of way as long as they did so initially in a safe manner.

Police Chief Nick Obligacion has indicated traffic safety is one of his department’s major concerns.

The grant will also cover the reimbursement of 5,000 color brochures and 5,000 color flyers as part of an education component.