Police Crackdown on Traffic, Crosswalk Violations Catches 70 Pedestrians, Drivers

By Santoni, Matthew | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 26, 2009 | Go to article overview

Police Crackdown on Traffic, Crosswalk Violations Catches 70 Pedestrians, Drivers


Santoni, Matthew, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Police targeted jaywalkers and reckless drivers Wednesday in Oakland, handing out more than 70 tickets and warnings for traffic and crosswalk violations in the second round of a yearlong crackdown.

For some, the real notice came Feb. 27, when Sabina Dietrick, a 51-year-old University of Pittsburgh professor, was struck by a bus and critically injured trying to cross Fifth Avenue just nine days after the first enforcement effort.

"It really shook me up, to see her laying there in the street... It made me think about how fragile life is," said Michele Honko, 36, a marketing associate in the university's office of enterprise development who witnessed the accident. "I think I'm more careful now because of that."

PennDOT and police from the city, Port Authority of Allegheny County, University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University covered the corridor from Carlow University to Carnegie Mellon, and officials planned to keep sweeping it at least once a month until the message sinks in, said PennDOT public safety communications officer David Pritt.

During the three-hour effort yesterday, officers issued 29 citations for drivers running red lights, 11 citations and eight warnings for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and 23 warnings for pedestrians who didn't obey crosswalk markings and traffic signals. Even a Pitt shuttle bus was pulled over.

"The only way we can measure our success is by monitoring the behavior of pedestrians and motorists," Pritt said. PennDOT will work with police and hospitals to track accidents and determine where to focus efforts. …

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Police Crackdown on Traffic, Crosswalk Violations Catches 70 Pedestrians, Drivers
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