Police target distracted pedestrians, drivers

SAN DIEGO - The deaths of five pedestrians this year prompted the San Diego Police Department Thursday to increase its efforts in preventing distracted driving and walking.

Motorcycle officers with San Diego police hit the streets early Thursday morning looking for drivers and pedestrians who were distracted and violating traffic signals in Hillcrest and downtown.

Julie Grochowski, visiting from Florida, received a ticket.

“There was no one coming—there was no traffic," she said. "So, I crossed and the cop pulled me over."

Janice Miles from Texas was given a warning.

 “I'm a traffic lawyer, which is hilarious," she said. "I did not tell him because I thought it might make him give me a ticket instead of a warning.”

The Department's effort comes on the heels of a high number of pedestrian fatalities—sound of the pedestrians who were killed were found to be at fault because they were either jaywalking or distracted, according to SDPD.

There were 21 pedestrian fatalities reported in 2013.

“People get the misconception that just because the light is green for vehicle traffic and the hand is red they can still walk across because the light is green but you can't," said Lt. Steve Hutchinson. "That's illegal.”

Police issued more than 200 tickets Thursday morning. Each ticket costs about $150.

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