PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — The Santa Monica Police Department announced Wednesday that it will target drivers in March who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, continuing its efforts at targeting different bad driving behaviors each month.

“Our traffic division will be enforcing pedestrian safety through enforcement (citations) and possible crosswalk stings throughout the month,” said Sgt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department.

City Hall has formed a pedestrian safety committee consisting of several departments, analyzing and implementing ways to reduce the number of traffic collisions involving vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.

The committee is part of the “Watch the Road Campaign,” Lewis said.

The SMPD has so far this year targeted drivers talking on cell phones, pedestrians jaywalking and walking against a red light or “Don’t Walk” symbol.

For those unfamiliar with the “Right-of-Way” law as it applies to crosswalks, here’s a refresher:

• 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.

• This does not mean a pedestrian should just step out into the street without looking both ways. 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.

• The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.

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