Saturday, September 10, 2005

Crackdown on Jaywalkers

Crackdown on Jaywalkers

It sounds like a joke, but St. Louis Police have started issuing warnings and tickets to jaywalkers.

To be fair, they're also cracking down on drivers who disobey crosswalks and nearly hit pedestrians. Under this East-West Gateway-sponsored initiative, a grant was obtained for St. Louis City, St. Charles and University City police overtime to more effectively enforce traffic laws, and hopefully cut down on the number of pedestrian fatalities. They don't always issue fines; sometimes they just give out warnings or "educational notices."

Sure, this is a laudable goal, but the timing of the article seems odd. Between the stories about crime "memos" for rape, assualt, etc. and the ongoing rash of car thefts and even car license tag thefts, not to mention the huge disparity in call for service among the different St. Louis police districts, aren't there more significant concerns for St. Louis police?

And no, I have not received a jaywalking ticket, yet. I admit, I don't always cross at corners; and sometimes, I don't use the mid-block crosswalks because they are poorly placed. I still try to be careful crossing streets, even if I'm doing so legally, since I realize I have no chance against a 4,000 pound hunk of metal traveling even at 25 mph.

But regarding enforcement, it comes down to this: if an allegation of rape does not warrant a full police report, why does jaywalking warrant a $10 fine?

No comments: