A Morning in K-Town: Peds Ticketed, Red Light Runners Ignored

5_4_09_ticketing_peds_resizr.jpg5_4_09_metro_red_resizr.jpgDifferent treatment for pedestrians crossing on flashing hand and vehicles running a red. 

Last Friday the LAPD was at it again.  In what they claimed was an effort to make the intersection of Wilshire and Western safer for pedestrians, the LAPD was handing out tickets to pedestrians who crossed the street against a flashing red hand.  In the ten minutes I observed their their ticketing I observed the following.

First, nearly all of the people being ticketed made it across the street before the traffic signal they were facing turned red.  In other words, their actions put nobody in danger.  The three LAPD officers were in a constant state of filling out ticket forms, and I counted two pedestrians who didn’t make it across before the red.  One of whom was an elderly woman who started as soon as she got the white person and who received no help from the LAPD officers busy writing tickets.

Second, at somewhere over thirty vehicles I lost count of the amount of vehicles that made a left hand turn after the light they were facing turned red.  Unfortunately, my slow frame camera had trouble getting a clean shot of a car running a red, but was able to capture an image of an articulated Metro Rapid Bus in the act.  For the record, I was standing next to an LAPD officer when I snapped this picture.

Third, many of those people rushing across the street against the flashing reds, but before the solid reds, were trying to catch a bus.

The message?  Impatient drivers running red lights aren’t causing crashes throughout the city.  It’s the fault of pedestrians who make it across the street before the traffic signal turns red. Of course, this "blame the pedestrian" mentality also exists with the LADOT who believes removing unsignalized crosswalks is the best way to make crossing the street safer for pedestrians.

It’s honestly no wonder that David Jassy thinks he can get out of physically assaulting and repeatedly running over a pedestrian with the "these things happen defense."  We live in a city where pedestrians are assumed at fault for crashes while red-light-running motorists are given carte-blanche.


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Who Can We Turn To When LAPD Doesn’t Know Crosswalk Laws?

Yet, a lot of our city officials still don't understand crosswalks. When an intersection has an unacceptable number of crashes, the many LAPD divisions respond by ticketing pedestrians crossing against a flashing hand, even if they get through the intersection before the hand solidifies; while drivers continue to merrily run red lights right in front of them.

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