Collision injuries not an inhibitor for police in enforcing traffic violations

San Francisco police say they are not holding back in enforcement of traffic violations, even in incidents that result in injury.

In one such case, an elderly man hit by a car while walking away from St. Mary’s Cathedral on Geary Boulevard on Sunday was issued a jaywalking ticket by police shortly afterward at San Francisco General Hospital.

“The officer returned and cited him at the hospital,” Officer Gordon Shyy said.

The 86-year-old man was cited for crossing the street outside of the crosswalk and suffered a fractured leg from the collision about 2:40 p.m., Shyy said. He cooperated with officers at the scene.

While issuing a jaywalking ticket to an injured person may not have been common in the past, officers note that injuries are not a deterrent from enforcing violations.

“Previously, when officers responded to a collision, it was at their discretion to cite or not,” Shyy said. “But now, we just have a huge department policy that was implemented a few months ago where if officers are able to determine an at-fault party, they shall cite the at-fault party at the scene.”

The department’s directive to issue more tickets to not only drivers, but pedestrians and bicyclists, came earlier this year in response to a spike in vehicle-pedestrian fatalities, most significantly in December.

From January 2013 to February 2014, the department handed out 54 percent more traffic citations citywide, according to Police Chief Greg Suhr.

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By Examiner Staff