11/14/2005San Bernardino, CA Cracks Down on Crosswalks
San Bernardino, California devotes undercover detective resources to solving crimes that happen in crosswalks.
San Bernardino, the "Inland Empire" suburb near Los Angeles, California, has made solving crimes that occur in crosswalks a priority. It has launched a new, undercover sting operation called "Pedestrian Enforcement Safety Task Force" (PEST) in which plainclothes detective Richard Lawhead spends an entire day walking back and forth in a crosswalk. Recently, for example, he and his ticket-writing team of officers spent the day pacing the intersection of Waterman Avenue and Olive Street. They issued close to two dozen expensive citations in an hour for jaywalking and failing to yield to pedestrians.
"You see a jaywalker and you think, 'Oh that's a minor,' " Lawhead told the San Bernardino Sun. "Well, maybe we should spend some time on the petty stuff."
San Bernardino's serious crime rate is higher than the national average and nearly 60 percent greater than that of Los Angeles. Last year, San Bernardino experienced 13,934 serious crimes, including 1530 aggravated assaults, 2543 burglaries and 91 arsons. A significant number of these crimes remain unsolved.