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Police Target Crosswalk Violators


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Crosswalk near Lake Eola, Orlando. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Crosswalk near Lake Eola, Orlando. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Orlando police officers are ticketing drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians this week.

It’s part of a program aimed at lowering the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries.

Plain clothes police officers handed out 30 tickets to drivers who failed to yield at three city crosswalks Wednesday.

Sergeant Richard Ruth said after three years of these under-cover operations, drivers are starting to get the message- but pedestrians aren’t.

“If you ask me, 80% of our enforcement efforts should be targeting pedestrians who are not obeying the law,” said Ruth.

“Approximately 10% for vehicles and 10% for bicycles,” he added.

He says out of the nearly 5,000 stops made by his officers in six months, most of them were for pedestrians violating traffic laws.

But enforcement is just one part of making streets safer for pedestrians.

Dave Bruns of AARP Florida said streets also need to be better designed.

“Can we engineer pedestrians’ minds? That’s going to be a somewhat iffy proposition,” said Bruns.

“Can we better engineer our highways and our crosswalks? Yes, definitely we can.”

Bruns said increasing the number of crosswalks and giving pedestrians more time to cross the road would help.

Last year 46 pedestrians were killed on Orange County roads.

Police officers and Orange County Sheriffs deputies will be patrolling crosswalks again Thursday morning.

Pedestrian injuries and fatalities in Orange County, 2010-2014.

Pedestrian injuries and fatalities in Orange County, 2010-2014.

 


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »

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