SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — While San Francisco cracks down on dangerous drivers in an attempt to increase pedestrian safety, it may come as a surprise to some that the last minute dash some pedestrians make to cross a street can them some hefty fines as well.

The crosswalk countdown is not as much a recommendation as it is the law.

“The letter of the law effectively is you do not enter the crosswalk unless there is a green hand,” said SFPD Commander Mikhail Ali.

The fine for breaking the crosswalk law is nearly $200.

The problem, according to San Francisco police isn’t just distracted drivers, but the belief by pedestrians that they always have the right of way.

“We have seen collisions where pedestrians are deep into the sidewalk, sees a few seconds remaining on the countdown, decides to literally sprint across the roadway, as a car may be making that turn and literally running into the path of the car,” Ali said.


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