Police Crack Down On Unyielding Drivers
Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009 4:08 PM EST Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009 4:16 PM EST
Watch your lead foot, especially at those crosswalks.
Charlottesville police are cracking down harder on drivers who do not stop for pedestrians. Officers wrote 41 tickets from September through November for motorists who failed to yield to persons on foot. That is up from 10 during the same period last year, a 310 percent increase.
"They always talk about defensive driving, but I feel the need to be a defensive walker as well," said pedestrian Steven Levine. "Especially downtown where there's so much traffic."
It is a big part of the city's increased efforts to make the streets safer for pedestrians. Police tell NBC29 officers are always looking for drivers who ignore pedestrians, but there are specific days throughout the year where it is a main focus for some of them. The lighted crosswalks the city put in downtown and in other areas of the city have helped police in this endeavor.
"If someone fails to stop for someone in a lighted crosswalk, then they are obviously just not paying attention at all, or they didn't plan to stop," Lt. Gary Pleasants of the Charlottesville Police Department said. "And it just makes it much easier for us to get a conviction in court."
Lt. Pleasants also points out it is important for pedestrians to use caution just like drivers are required to on the road.
The police department has received a highway safety grant for $18,000 specifically for overtime. One category the overtime is for is pedestrian safety, so officers are coming in just to catch those drivers who put pedestrians at risk.