St. Paul police today are starting the “enforcement period” in another crackdown on drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, a crackdown that is annually necessary because the crackdown is an annual event.
If history is a guide, a few people will get tickets, the issue will get a mention or two on the news, and in a week or so, St. Paul will again be the home of the quick and the dead.
It’s a two-week crackdown. Avoid getting a ticket for the next two weeks, and you’re probably home free until next year.
The latest phase of the crackdown comes just a few days after a man was killed while crossing at Como Avenue and Rice Street in the city.
Seventeen people have been killed in the city in the last five years. Every other day, someone is hit.
The main problem in the city is multi-lane streets in which someone stops for someone in a crosswalk, and a driver behind can’t be bothered waiting a few seconds, pulls around the first car and plows into the unsuspecting crosswalker.
this is the shirt i was wearing when a driver who failed to yield on a left turn almost hit me on my bike and a ped in the crosswalk, which just reinforces the fact that no amount of day-glo will make drivers notice you if they’re not paying attention pic.twitter.com/yHEFtYKnan
— prosecute ICE 🌹 (@lieholepiehole) June 18, 2018
A crackdown is better than nothing — which is what happens the rest of the year — and the new “stop for pedestrians in crosswalk” signs certain help (especially at the intersection I watch every day at 9th and Minnesota where nobody ever does), but life is cheap to St. Paul drivers.
The City Council is reducing the speed limit on some streets, an attempt to pressure county government to do the same on others.
Will it work? Maybe a little. And saving one is better than saving none. The tickets will cost drivers $186. But inflicting pain on bad drivers year ’round is a solution long overdue.