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Locking Out Gridlock

December 08, 1987

The timely moves of Los Angeles city officials to implement the state gridlock law when it becomes effective Jan. 1 are setting a good example for traffic officials throughout the state.

City Council members are expected to designate and post 125 of the most critical intersections for priority enforcement. That is a good beginning. There is every reason to believe that motorists will practice the precautions at every intersection when they come to understand that a first offense will cost them $50 to $100, a second offense $100 to $200, with further offenses carrying appropriately higher fines and the possibility of a 30-day suspension of a driver's license.

A squad of 15 motorcycle officers will be deployed by the Los Angeles Police Department to open the enforcement campaign. We trust that they will not spare the RTD bus drivers, who until now have managed to block intersections with maddening effectiveness. Pedestrians also will face ticketing if they ignore "Don't Walk" signs.

We agree with Councilman Michael Woo that no "grace period" is required. There has been adequate publicity.

Under terms of the new law, motorists may not enter an intersection or intrude on a crosswalk unless there is space ahead to clear the intersection when the light turns red.

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