MLPD cops crack down on Main Street drivers


Two dozen cited or warned for ignoring pedestrians

After years of fielding complaints from pedestrians on Main Street, the Mammoth Lakes Police Department and the California Highway Patrol last weekend brought down the hammer.

Sixteen drivers were cited for posing a danger to pedestrians in street, while 13 more received warnings.

“We did this as a result of many complaints officers and I have received about how dangerous it is to cross the street, especially Main Street,” said MLPD Chief Dan Watson.

“Our hope is that drivers will be more aware and on the lookout for pedestrians in the roadway.”

The drivers were cited or warned for violations of California Vehicle Code section 21950(a), which requires a motorist to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

The sting operation began on Friday, March 29, and extended through Saturday, March 30, Watson said.

He said plainclothes employees and volunteers entered the crosswalks at the Post Office and Fire Station crosswalks after activating the pedestrian warning lights.

Watson said “while the large majority” of drivers yielded to the walkers, some drivers veered too close to a pedestrian—enough to “pose a threat.”

The operation lasted for approximately six hours over the two days, he said.

While the operation was in motion, the chief said officers “were contacted by several passers-by who were aware of what was occurring who expressed appreciation for the efforts to improve pedestrian safety.”

In all, he said Mammoth poses particular dangers for pedestrians, particularly in the winter months.

“Most of our streets don’t have sidewalks,” Watson said, “and it’s even more important to be aware of pedestrians while driving in Mammoth.”