Pedestrian Safety Awareness

Ped Safety

Recently, the San Mateo mid-county area has experienced several vehicle/pedestrian collisions, some resulting in serious injury and death, and a number of these involving members of our senior community. The danger that this type of accident poses to our pedestrian public, and particularly to  our aging community is of serious concern to SMPD.

We are joining with our neighboring police departments throughout San Mateo County and with the CA Highway Patrol to address pedestrian safety as part of our countywide Saturated Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Efforts currently include education initiatives like community meetings with local seniors groups to provide pedestrian safety information, as well as targeted enforcement operations to hold drivers and pedestrians accountable for traffic safety.

KRON-4’s Stanley Roberts Captured SMPD’s recent participation in a multi-agency enforcement campaign here in San Mateo, using a police decoy in the crosswalk in the 3800 block of El Camino Real.


  • Stop and look both ways before entering a street, even from a driveway or parking lot. Look left, right and left again before entering the street. Make eye contact and make sure the driver sees you before crossing in front of a car.
  •  Follow all signs and signals.
    • Start walking only when “Walk” or white pedestrian is showing.
    • If the red hand is flashing, you may continue to cross,but don’t start.
      • Do not start walking against a “Don’t Walk” symbol (VC21456 (b)) or if the red hand is steady.
  • Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
    • Don’t walk in the bike lane if there is sidewalk available. (VC21966)
    • The safest place to cross is at a corner, with or without a crosswalk. (VC21954 (a)
    • Crossing mid-block where drivers are not expecting to see you is the most common cause of pedestrian injury.
  • Distracted Pedestrians can be as dangerous as Distracted Drivers! Save use of electronic devices for when you are safely away from traffic.
  • Pedestrians do not automatically have the right of way, even when there is a crosswalk – never assume that a vehicle sees you and is going to stop – Pedestrians must give cars enough time to stop before entering the street. (VC21950(b))

2 thoughts on “Pedestrian Safety Awareness

  1. I appreciate the enforcement efforts to get drivers to respect people walking in the crosswalks. But I am very concerned that you only give tips for people walking, not people driving. Pedestrian safety is for everyone.

    There are plenty of things drivers need reminders about, such as:
    * When you have a green light and are turning right or left at an intersection, check the crosswalk carefully first. Pedestrians generally have a WALK signal while you have a green light and you must yield to them.
    * Unless specifically prohibited, intersections have legal crossing areas for people on foot, whether or not there is a marked crosswalk.
    * The faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop your vehicle. Do no drive over the speed limit, especially in areas where there is cross traffic or people on foot on on bicycles.
    * If a driver in a lane next to you stops at a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crossing, it may be because there may be someone walking in the crosswalk. Slow down and do not pass until you can see there is no one crossing the street.

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