From five traffic officers to 25 on the streets: any drivers breaking the law in Milpitas Wednesday morning had a greater chance of getting caught, thanks to a Santa Clara County-wide traffic enforcement initiative.
The Sunnyvale Police Department came up with the idea to combine forces with other South Bay law enforcement agencies with the idea that it would have a bigger impact compared to smaller city agencies patrolling on their own.
So in January, the initiative began in Sunnyvale as well as Milpitas, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Campbell and Los Altos.
In February, the initiative focused on Mountain View. This month, it’s in Milpitas.
According to Sergeant Sean Heneghan, the crackdown gives a clear message that bad and illegal driving will not be tolerated.
“We kind of make a statement in each city,” Heneghan said. “We’ll rotate city to city throughout the year. The impact is to let people know there is enforcement going on and we take it seriously.”
One such focus Wednesday was drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, a moving violation that costs each person roughly $250, Heneghan said. Citizen volunteers, as they are called, walked in crosswalks and enabled officers to stop and cite drivers who violated the law.
Traffic enforcement was conducted in school zones Wednesday and areas that have high accident and complaint rates. Officers also targeted specific violations, including pedestrian right-of-way, jaywalking, a three-foot buffer for bicyclists, red light and stop sign violations, and distracted driving.
This ongoing countywide effort to curb bad driving will occur at different times and days so drivers are unable to predict officers’ presence.