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Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Traffic Sergeant Scott Shoemaker said Thursday 37 citations were issued during a sting operation to catch drivers violating crosswalk safety laws.

“The purpose of the operation was to enhance public safety and the awareness of drivers and pedestrians,” said Sergeant Shoemaker.

The three-hour operation conducted jointly by Traffic and Crime Prevention deputies took place Thursday morning at the intersections of Soledad Canyon Road/Whites Canyon Road, Soledad Canyon Road/Sierra Highway, and Valencia Boulevard/McBean Parkway.

During the operation, a deputy wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt, and a plaid flannel jacket would step into the crosswalk to test whether oncoming motorists would stop.

The 37 citations were issued to motorists who violated the crosswalk laws while the deputy was crossing.

Some of the drivers cited admitted they weren't paying attention, some said they never saw the pedestrian, some said they thought they were far enough away from the pedestrian, and some drivers apologized for their actions, stating they should have stopped, but didn't.

Sergeant Shoemaker reminds drivers to come to a complete stop at crosswalks, yielding to pedestrians, and for pedestrians to remain alert when crossing, looking both ways, and making eye contact with the drivers. He added that cell phones can serve as a distraction not only to drivers, but to pedestrians as well. 

Shoemaker added, "Although it's not illegal to use a cell phone when walking, I see some people looking at their phones and not paying attention to their surroundings. Pedestrian safety is a two-way street."