SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — The San Jose Police Department used a decoy in neighborhood crosswalk to catch bad drivers in the act.

A woman who works as a Public Information Officer for SJPD posed as an average citizen trying to cross Senter Road near San Gregorio Way. By law, drivers are required to stop for pedestrians who are walking within a crosswalk.

The woman wore a bright yellow jacket, but that wasn’t enough for drivers to either notice her or care enough to stop Thursday morning. Cars whizzed by as she attempted to cross.

Motorcycle unit officers waited just a few feet away, pulled the drivers over, and handed out tickets. “We were out on this operation for less than one hour. In that time 21 motorists were cited for not yielding to pedestrians and other violations,” SJPD wrote.

“Please slow down. Watch for pedestrians. One life lost is one too many,” police wrote.

Just last week, an 8-year-old boy was fatally struck by a vehicle as he was walking within a marked crosswalk to Castlemont Elementary School in San Jose. The boy’s babysitter was also struck and injured.

“This is the most tragic possibility, something no mother, no father, wants to hear,” Officer Steve Aponte said of the 3rd grader’s death.

Police advised drivers to remember that the speed limit is 25 miles per hour when children are present. The boy was the 26th pedestrian death in San Jose this year. 

“The reality is folks need to follow the rules of the road,” Aponte said. “You need to be attentive. You need to make sure that you’re watching, especially … nearby a school.”

A third grade student’s photo is taped to a tree after he was killed by a driver who failed to stop at a crosswalk. (KRON4 photo)

Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote, “There’s nothing so tragic as seeing a young light extinguished too soon. One important way to honor his loss is to remain vigilant about slowing down to enable our children and seniors to safely share this city with us.”