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LAPD cracks down to protect pedestrian safety

January 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The LAPD is cracking down on drivers who don't stop for pedestrians to increase safety for both drivers and pedestrians.More and more drivers are getting pulled over for failing to stop for pedestrians, and each time, the offense grows more egregious than the next.

It's the result of a police crackdown with education in mind, as a dozen LAPD officers along Adams Avenue remind motorists that pedestrians have the right of way.

"I think it's much needed. It's always been a problem where people don't necessarily respect a pedestrian," said Kimberly Binion of Los Angeles.

The crosswalk task force isn't targeting just negligent drivers. They're also looking for jaywalkers who put themselves in danger.

"We're trying to make the pedestrians aware that they should be crossing at crosswalks or from corner to corner," asid Sgt. Arturo Gomez of the LAPD.

The four-hour sting comes in the wake of two recent pedestrian fatalities. Late Sunday night, 62-year-old Annette Carter was killed as she crossed the street near Normandie Avenue and Adams Boulevard.

Authorities say that Carter failed to use a crosswalk, but the driver who hit her sped off, making matters worse.

Two days later, in the Harbor Gateway area, another pedestrian was killed. He too failed to cross at an intersection.

"We just want to bring attention to the community that it's your responsibility as a pedestrian and a vehicle violator or vehicle driver to be aware of your surroundings," said Gomez.

Nearby residents like Estella Guzman welcomes the police presence.

Guzman says people drive too fast along Adams Avenue, and she often has to wait several minutes before a driver will slow down to let her cross the street.

Others like Jerry Smith say the crackdown is a temporary solution. He'd rather see flashing lights installed at crosswalks.

"More often than not, it's just a mess. They don't want to stop. They need some sort of device to make people slow down," said Smith.