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Pedestrian Safety

March 10, 1985

Last night whilst I was safely home reading a book, a lady was run down and killed and two of her visiting friends were severly injured less than half a block from where I live in Pacific Beach by a driver who apparently failed to stop while they crossed the intersection. In the past year, I have almost been hit five times trying to cross Mission Boulevard at the same intersection, and I consider myself quick-footed and street wise in traffic.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, elected officials and victims rant and rave against the drunk driver--and this is as it should be. But an equally important thrust against ignorant, careless and wantonly reckless drivers should be made through a public awareness campaign to explain pedestrian rights to auto drivers; increased emphasis on Department of Motor Vehicles testing, especially to out-of-state drivers who've chosen to move here, and stepped-up police enforcement of existing pedestrian protection laws. (By the last, I don't mean taking the easy way out by ticketing jaywalkers who cross a street when no other cars are within sight and who cause no traffic hazards.)

It is my hope that our police department takes notice, and if they have, takes action by vigorously ticketing drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians at unmarked intersections. As a merchant on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, I have never once seen the police stop, much less ticket, a driver for failure to stop for a pedestrian. In fact, it is seldom that the police themselves stop for pedestrians, and it is a pleasant shock when I see them do so.

ROBERT HAIBER

San Diego

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