As the holidays approach us I’d like to pass on some safety tips for those travelers who live, visit and work in our community.
During the weekdays the courthouse and surrounding streets can really be a nightmare for pedestrians and motorists as this particular area tends to get an overflow of traffic throughout the day. It is not uncommon for the average population of Lakeport to triple during the week due, in large part, to the courthouse traffic as well as citizens coming to and from work.
Too often pedestrians have to rush across the street or stop midway through the intersection to avoid being struck by motorists who are not paying attention. This becomes a real safety concern for the pedestrian, motorist and law enforcement alike.
The Lakeport Police Department urges motorists to use caution and slow down when approaching intersections and be extra cautious for pedestrians who may be crossing the street at any intersection, whether marked or unmarked, within the city limits of Lakeport.
California Vehicle Code section 21950(a) states that a 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.
It is equally important to remind pedestrians to use caution when preparing to cross any marked or unmarked crosswalk at intersections within the city limits of Lakeport.
The police department urges pedestrians to use all available crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked, when crossing the street.
California Vehicle Code section 21950(b) states that no pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
Another traffic safety concern is motorists making illegal U-turns on Main Street, where
U-turns are prohibited.
Throughout the business district on Main Street there are numerous signs posted, clearly marked, and indicating that U-turns are prohibited.
These particular types of turns are prohibited in the business district for the purpose of reducing potential traffic accidents and safety concerns given the large amount of vehicular traffic that passes through Main Street on a daily basis. The police department urges motorists to avoid making illegal U-turns where U-turns are prohibited.
Perhaps the biggest traffic safety concern for motorists is the use of cellular phone devices while operating a motor vehicle.
California Vehicle Code section 23123(a) states that a person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.
Text messaging of any kind whether reading, sending or writing is also a violation of the law while operating a motor vehicle and motorists should be cautioned that law enforcement will be citing motorists who are in violation of these laws.
The Lakeport Police Department and its members would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.
Lt. Jason Ferguson is with the police department for Lakeport, Calif.