Pedestrian-vehicle incidents spur CMPD crackdown

Pedestrian-vehicle incidents spur CMPD crackdown

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by ANJANETTE FLOWERS & DIANNE GALLAGHER / NewsChannel 36

WCNC.com

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 31 at 12:49 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thousands of people work in uptown Charlotte every day, but not many will admit they’ve jaywalked before.
         
Matt Hopes was the exception.
         
“Yes, frequently,” he said. “Because the lights just don’t time up.”
         
Nowadays, he’s a bit more careful. He remembers back in January when a bank executive was killed at the intersection of College and Stonewall Streets and then the very next day, another person was hit at the same crossing.

“This is a pretty dangerous intersection,” said Hopes. "I make sure I look both ways before crossing because it's not whether I cross in the crosswalk. The gentleman was killed when he had the right of way.”
         
Since then, there’ve been changes at the intersection, including more signs, and now, more officers.
         
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police issued 41 citations Monday, to kick off the Safe Roads Project.

"This campaign is not a citation writing campaign. It's an awareness campaign to say put the cell phone down, watch out for the GPS and pay attention to what's in front of you,” said Officer Michael Tinsley, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department .

Citations will be written for pedestrians and drivers. Citations will cost jaywalkers $213. Drivers who police believe are acting aggressively or not yielding to pedestrians can expect to pay $235.
         
It seems some have already gotten the message.

"I made sure when I left the DEC building, I used the crosswalk and didn't jaywalk in the middle of the street,” said Cheryl Ford. "I go out of my way to go to the corner now.”

“I saw a bus coming and my colleague pulled me back and I was saved, I suppose,” said Dr. Ishmael Parsai.
         
He said, he won’t do it again.

“I think we should all go to the crosswalk and take a few extra [steps] and push the button that's supposed to turn the light green.”

Some of the other intersections that CMPD will be keeping an eye on:
         
•    4th and McDowell Streets
•    Tryon and 6th Streets
•    4th and College Streets
•    College and Trade Streets.

Officials said six or more pedestrians have been hit at those intersections over the last 10 years.  So far this year, 14 pedestrians have died on Charlotte streets. In 2011, 24 were killed.
        
Officers will be out patrolling those areas until August 17.

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