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The Dark Knight crosses in Valencia

Caped Crusader helps SCV deputies enforce crosswalk laws

Posted: August 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Brett Turk, 18, a member of the Sheriff's Explorer program, dressed as Batman, crosses Magic Mountain Parkway at Valencia Boulevard during a crosswalk enforcement operation to attempt to cut down on pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents at crosswalks in the SCV on Monday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.

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Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Explorer Brett Turk spent most of Monday dressed as Batman. And mostly, he spent the day waiting for crosswalk “walk” signs — and then walking.

Turk was the key to a crosswalk law enforcement operation conducted by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
And Turk appeared to be an effective caped crime-fighter: At least 12 tickets were issued in the operation’s first hour at Citrus Street and Valencia Boulevard, said Santa Clarita spokeswoman Gail Morgan.

At the Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard enforcement location, deputies ticketed drivers who made a right turn onto Magic Mountain before Turk — aka “Batman” — made it at least halfway across the crosswalk. Multiple deputy units emerged from a nearby car dealership parking lot to write the citations.

The “half-way” grace period isn’t in the law, Morgan noted, and enforcement could have been much more stringent.

The law says drivers must wait until the pedestrian crosses the street completely before they turn into the crosswalk.

“The point of today was not necessarily to cite and give tickets,” Morgan said. “It’s to reinforce the message that we all need to share the road with pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.”

The crosswalk enforcement operation was part of the Santa Clarita and Sheriff Station “Respect is a Two Way Street” safety campaign prompted by last year’s 99 incidents that involved cars colliding with either bicyclists or pedestrians citywide, Morgan said.

This year’s goal: to reduce that number.

Monday demonstrated the campaign’s enforcement stage.

“You might say you didn’t see (a pedestrian) but it’s hard to say you didn’t see ‘Batman,’” Morgan said.

“Batman” received honks, waves and smiles from passersby. And despite the toasty weather, the nearly head-to-toe suit with pointy ears, eye holes and breastplate wasn’t too hot, Turk said.

Asked what kinds of faces people made at him, Turk responded, “Definitely ones of surprise. (This) is not something you see everyday.”

But despite the costume and the comic situation, Morgan stressed the serious nature of the operation.

“I don’t think anyone wakes up thinking, ‘I’m going to hit a pedestrian,’” she said. “But as a society we’re very distracted driv(ers).”

mason@signalscv.com

Comments

cptnobvious: Posted: August 5, 2014 5:22 p.m.

At least 12 tickets were issued in the operation’s first hour at Citrus Street and Valencia Boulevard, said Santa Clarita spokeswoman Gail Morgan.

“The point of today was not necessarily to cite and give tickets,” Morgan said.

I'd say a ticket every five minutes shows no other motive but to cite.

And Batman was thought of as a vigilante and earned the nickname the Dark Knight. Harvey Dent was known as the White Knight because he served the community within the law.

I hardly think walking back and forth in crosswalk, in the middle of the day, justifies a title of Dark Knight.


GuiltFree: Posted: August 5, 2014 6:53 p.m.

Our Sheriff's department is so pathetic.


lars1: Posted: August 5, 2014 7:00 p.m.

“The point of today was not necessarily to cite and give tickets,” Morgan said....

Just another lie. 12 tickets in one hour, 120 tickets in a day.
At $100 each that's $1200 in revenue for the city.

Morgan is the same city spokesperson who LIED about the billboard deal!

...From the city’s perspective, the plan is not about the potential for $450-600,000 in revenue that would result from Metro’s proposal, said Gail Morgan, city spokeswoman for Santa Clarita....

http://hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-news/politics/santa-clarita-elections/santa-clarita-city-council-oks-metro-billboard


kellars opinion on the billboards. ITS ABOUT THE MONEY!
....and the dedication to the city of revenue received from digital billboards, which creates an ongoing revenue stream....

http://www.signalscv.com/section/36/article/123020/

Its all about the money the city wants to steal.
VOTE NO ON THE BILLBOARD DEAL IN NOVEMBER.


lars2: Posted: August 5, 2014 7:03 p.m.

Always the naysayers to comment. As one person who crosses that intersection to get to the mall, many drivers will pull in front, behind or at you as you are in the crosswalk. I nearly have been hit 4 times. The fact the Sheriff's Department does this as part of an education process is great. I love people who gripe and comment about this, the DUI checkpoints, and the red light cameras. We wouldn't need the enforcement if idiots would not break the law and endanger YOU and ME. Enjoy the anarchy and don't complain when you get hit by a drunk driver, or when someone runs a red light, or clips you in a sidewalk. --edited.


bjkehoe: Posted: August 5, 2014 7:04 p.m.

i am glad this was in the article;
The “half-way” grace period isn’t in the law, Morgan noted, and enforcement could have been much more stringent.

The law says drivers must wait until the pedestrian crosses the street completely before they turn into the crosswalk.

i always wondered if i was allowed to go once the person got to the middle....now i know


lars2: Posted: August 5, 2014 7:09 p.m.

@Lars1 - Isn't your drum tired of you beating on it all the time? You bore us with the same diatribe. "Blah, blah, blah. City is lying to you. Blah, blah, blah. I know the truth" BORING!


LostBrit: Posted: August 5, 2014 7:17 p.m.

Can someone point me to where "The law says drivers must wait until the pedestrian crosses the street completely before they turn into the crosswalk"?
All I can find is, "The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection"
From: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21950.htm --edited.


lars1: Posted: August 5, 2014 11:08 p.m.

I cant wait till the billboard election in November.
18,000 people signed the referendum, nearly giving kellar a heart attack.
Its not only me, but there are a lot of people who think that kellar, weste and mclean really don't have any respect for the citizens.
The referendum was a giant wakeup call.


zra: Posted: August 5, 2014 11:34 p.m.

Just another revenue generating activity under the guise of being for your safety.

I like how they state that they could ticket you for not waiting until the pedestrian is completely clear of the crosswalk, but they decided to allow a "grace period". How nice of them. Another example of LE choosing which laws they want to enforce and to what degree.

The bottom line is there are way to many archaic laws on the books. I'd like to see an effort to go through the code and give it a nice scrubbing. Of course that wont happen because the system benefits from all the useless or outdated laws by using it as revenue generation when needed.


chefgirl358: Posted: August 5, 2014 11:46 p.m.

Zra, absolutely brilliant comment, I totally agree!

I know you're supposed to wait for people to get all the way across, but cheese and rice that's practically impossible in some places with tons of ped traffic like Pasadena, especially when a lot of them (usually little butthead young adults) take their sweet a** time on purpose.

That law needs to be changed big time. Have a seperate light cycle specifically for the peds without screwing over the motorist trying to turn.


CaptGene: Posted: August 6, 2014 12:09 a.m.

“The point of today was not necessarily to cite and give tickets,” Morgan said. “It’s to reinforce the message...."

In other words "raise awareness".

I call BS. If the point was to "reinforce the message" they should have stopped the drivers the second the law was actually broken, explained that they just broke the law, the fine would be "X", point on your driving record...and the told them "I'm letting you off with a warning, tell your friends".

This was a chicken *&#% sting operation, plain and simple.


Before87: Posted: August 6, 2014 9:26 a.m.

The Dark Knight Has Moobs


cj64: Posted: August 6, 2014 9:36 a.m.

Good Point CaptGene.

I agree with everyone who believes this was just a "revenue sting". A few weeks ago, while having coffee, I witnessed many "sting tickets" being handed out for driving in a bike lane (with no bikes there).
The “Respect is a Two Way Street” campaign did not provide any listing of the traffic laws that would be enforced. That would target all the drivers and not just those getting tickets.

There must be hundreds of little known "sting" traffic laws.

VC 281992 You cannot drive a white car on Tuesday.
VC 563312 It is illegal to drive with a pet in the car and an open window when its raining.


DMeyer: Posted: August 6, 2014 12:03 p.m.

What a waste of time, everyone knows that there are no distracted drivers on our roads.


bbcalvin: Posted: August 6, 2014 12:28 p.m.

I think the idea of raising awareness for pedestrians is good as I see people making turns right in front of pedestrians all the time. I do agree with others that maybe pulling people over and giving a warning is just as effective.

Also, whoever is speaking for the Sheriff's does not know the California Vehicle Code. There is no law that says you must wait for a pedestrian to cross the entire street before going. California is a yield state when it comes to pedestrians in crosswalks. Once a pedestrian crosses half-way and it is reasonable that they are not in your path of travel, you may proceed. If you get a ticket when the pedestrian is on the other side of the street and make a turn, I could not see a judge enforcing that ticket as it was not in the intent of the law.


tpaul: Posted: August 6, 2014 2:07 p.m.

My calculator says $100 X 120 is $12,000----but I hear ya


SReilly12: Posted: August 6, 2014 7:11 p.m.

Got to wonder what this guy was paid to dress up like this.........definitely not enough, honks or no honks!


CaptGene: Posted: August 7, 2014 12:02 a.m.

I don't know, but I believe the Explorers are not paid. I feel sorry for young Mr. Turk; he probably feels like he was doing real police work.


ricketzz: Posted: August 7, 2014 9:03 a.m.

Looks more like a rat than a bat.


Bobs: Posted: August 7, 2014 11:57 a.m.

I agree it was just a revenue generating scheme.

However, it is also true that, especially in So Cal many people just don't get how easily they could be killed. They walk blindly into traffic and assume that traffic will stop for them, or simply are distracted, texting and not paying attention. I travel a lot for my business, and in other parts of the country people don't always stop.

In other countries, forget about it. You're dead



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