DAYTONA BEACH SHORE, Fla. – Police say they are seeing more drivers running through crosswalks in use by pedestrians and in Daytona Beach Shores, officers are cracking down on the problem.
There are just a little over six miles of A1A in Daytona Beach Shores and 22 crosswalks. Two of them have flashing yellow lights but the same rules apply to both.
Shores police said after two serious accidents in them over the last month, they’re now looking for violators around the clock and will hand them a big fine when they catch them.
In June, police said a man was crossing A1A with his dog at night, using the flashing lights, when a speeding motorcyclist hit them. They said the dog was killed and both the driver and pedestrian were in comas, just recently recovering.
Then, just last Sunday, police said a pregnant woman and her six-year-old son were crossing a walkway when a car attempted to speed past and clipped her with their mirror. Luckily, police said, it only caused minor injuries.
“Once you step into a crosswalk, you are arguing with a vehicle. So, I tell people make sure the car is stopping and then when you go one lane make sure the next car is stopping,” said Shores Public Safety Director Stephen Dembinsky.
Dembinsky said in Florida, the law states once a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, cars must stop.
This week, he’s starting to have officers monitor crosswalks to catch the rule breakers and he’s even having plainclothes officers act as decoys using the crosswalks themselves.
“When people don’t stop, we either warn them or give them a citation for not stopping for pedestrians but that’s dangerous for my officers. We’ve had a couple of officers almost hit because people are not paying attention in their cars,” he said.
A recent study ranked Volusia County as the most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians in the U.S.
With thousands of visitors every day, Dembinsky said some may come from places with different rules.
He said saving pedestrians’ lives is about education for both walkers and drivers.
“You cannot legislate your way out of this pedestrian problem. We don’t have enough police officers. I can’t put a police officer at every cross walk. It just can’t happen,” he said.
If you’re caught breaking the law, the citation can cost about $166.
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