Thursday, January 21, 2016

KRON 4 report highlights Benicia traffic violations

(Originally published in the 1/21/16 edition)

   Sometimes, Benicia manages to find a way to end up on local TV news channels, and in some cases it is not in the most flattering of lights. 
   On Friday, KRON 4 reporter Stanley Roberts visited Benicia for his “People Behaving Badly” segment. The issue: many drivers and cyclists were caught on camera not stopping at stop signs.
   In the report, Roberts’ dashboard camera manages to capture 16 separate incidents at various intersections where drivers and cyclists failed to stop at stop signs. In one instance, a cyclist pulls through two separate stop signs. 
   “There is no legal requirement that riders put their foot down when they stop,” Roberts said in the report. “However, there is a requirement that you at least appear to be stopping in a safe manner, not simply blowing past stop signs.” 
   “A bit of advice for drivers there: ‘STOP’ is not an acronym,” he joked. “It doesn’t mean ‘Slightly Tap on Pedal.’” 
   According to Benicia Police Lieutenant Mike Greene, KRON had sent out a news crew for the segment after receiving complaints over cyclists not obeying stop signs. 
   “We were very cooperative with their staff when they came down,” he said. 
   Greene says the department has handled such cases, but he believes the issue is not exclusive to just Benicia.
   “I think traffic in general tends to be a hot topic issue in any community,” he said. “We’re not immune from people violating traffic laws. Our officers are certainly out there enforcing traffic laws, and they will issue citations and warnings.”
   “We certainly know not everyone is going to obey all our stop signs in town,” he added. “That’s our purpose for having traffic units and officers working those kinds of assignments.”
   According to Greene, the Police Department has patrol officers out on the streets to enforce and emphasize the traffic laws as well as a traffic unit, although Greene says it has not been up to full staff in the last few months. Additionally, the community also brings traffic complaints forward. 
   “I think one of the biggest issues any community deals with is traffic-related stuff,” Greene said. 
   As Roberts noted in the report, the fine for disobeying a stop sign in Solano County is $229 and will result in a point on the driver’s record, which could contribute to higher insurance rates.
   Greene says the vast majority of drivers do obey stop signs, but he believes people who do not could create problems for themselves or other drivers. 
   “I would encourage everyone to follow that law,” he said. “People who don’t are willfully violating the law, take the chance of creating a hazard for themselves or somebody else and if they’re caught, they receive a ticket for that.”

   For more information on traffic laws, visit

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