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News-Press Editorial: Failure-to-yield tickets should cost more

The opinion of the News-Press

October 11, 2013

It has been obvious over the years that Glendale drivers have little regard for those who are trying to negotiate the city on foot. We've published stories recounting a recent spate of vehicle-versus-pedestrian accidents that left one woman dead and three others injured. So as of last week, it was apparent that any local enforcement and education efforts to enhance pedestrian safety had so far fallen on deaf ears.

Nonetheless, we were dumbstruck to learn Thursday that in a 90-minute police sting operation at one of our intersections, there were 29 drivers who apparently saw no need to yield to an undercover police officer walking across the street in front of them. That means that there was at least the potential for a deadly accident about every three minutes at that single patch of asphalt alone. Multiply that by the number of intersections throughout the civic center to get an idea of how perilous it is for pedestrians out there. Then imagine what it's like in the more residential areas and school zones, where certain drivers blow through stop signs without even reducing their speed.

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Each of those motorists caught failing to yield to the man in the crosswalk on Thursday received a $280 ticket. Is this punishment enough to teach the necessary lesson? Perhaps for some; probably not for many. This is one traffic fine that should be revisited and ratcheted north. Those Glendale drivers who are in the habit of breaking the law should be the ones to feel the pain — not the hapless pedestrians who are at their mercy.

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