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News-Press Editorial: Time to put the brakes on unsafe driving

The opinion of the News-Press

January 31, 2014

Six Glendale pedestrians died after having been struck by moving vehicles in 2013, a year when the Glendale Police Department logged a staggering 111 pedestrian-involved collisions. One has already died this year, putting 2014 off to a grim start indeed.

This past week, as part of the city’s ongoing efforts to curb this problem, another pedestrian-crosswalk sting was held that generated 28 tickets to drivers who ignored an undercover cop crossing a Glendale street. Obviously all efforts to date to educate the public about pedestrian safety have not been sufficient. Local drivers, for whatever reason, are not paying attention to the city’s pleas to take care. Nor, apparently, have enforcement activities made a big enough dent in the problem to keep people from dying on our streets.

What is it going to take to stop this civic embarrassment? While we endorse the city’s steps to check on this appalling behavior on the part of drivers (and, in some cases, distracted pedestrians), and would encourage such work to continue and perhaps be expanded, serious consequences are in order for scofflaws. We’d like to see penalties that will make motorists sit up and take notice. It’s time that state lawmakers ratchet up fines for unsafe driving around pedestrians to stratospheric levels, add points to driver’s licenses and require weeks — or even months — of community service from repeat offenders.

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