Police cite 45, tow seven vehicles during Operation Safe passage

Gilroy
– More than 40 Gilroy drivers were ticketed last week as part of
an effort by the Gilroy Police Department and California Highway
Patrol to enforce traffic laws around schools.
By Lori Stuenkel

Gilroy – More than 40 Gilroy drivers were ticketed last week as part of an effort by the Gilroy Police Department and California Highway Patrol to enforce traffic laws around schools.

Called Operation Safe Passage, the campaign put additional officers around local schools during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times, with the goal of alerting parents, commuters, and students of the importance of following traffic laws and the danger of violating them.

From Monday through Thursday last week, 16 Gilroy officers patrolled the high-traffic areas around schools, looking for hazardous violations, including: driving past school buses that have red lights flashing; speeding; failing to yield to pedestrians; jaywalking; not wearing bicycle helmets; not wearing seat belts or child seats; and other violations that are likely to cause collisions, such as running stop signs.

Gilroy police ticketed 31 drivers, said GPD School Resource Officer Mike Terasaki. The CHP ticketed 14 more, said Officer Matt Ramirez.

“By Friday, everybody was obeying the law,” Ramirez said.

Most tickets were the result of moving violations, from speeding to failing to wear seat belt.

Between the two agencies, seven drivers also had their cars towed because they either did not have a license or were driving with a suspended license.

Local law enforcement participates in Operation Safe Passage several times each year, usually before or after vacation breaks.

There will be one more Safe Passage week in Gilroy before the end of the school year, Terasaki said.

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