Evanston Police Release Pedestrian Crosswalk Initiative Results
The Evanston Police Department Traffic Management Bureau conducted a crosswalk enforcement initiative from August 8 through August 31, 2012. This initiative was timed to coincide with the Pedestrian Safety Initiative that was approved by the City Council on August 6, 2012. Traffic Officers were assigned to monitor ten targeted crosswalks that receive the most complaints by citizens, as well as 44 other crosswalks throughout the city that the officers felt needed attention. This proactive approach to pedestrian safety, along with the diligent efforts by the police officers of the Traffic Management Bureau, produced significant enforcement results.
In total, 217 hours were spent on this initiative and 482 citations were issued to motorists for the following violations:
• 217 Talking or texting on a cell phone
• 123 Failure to wear a seat belt
• 30 Speeding
• 12 Crosswalk violations
• 41 No Insurance
• 09 Suspended or No Valid Driver's License
• 01 DUI
• 49 Other Traffic or Equipment Related Offenses
• 12 Warnings (not included in above citation total)
During this observation period, the majority of drivers were yielding to pedestrians. What is of particular concern was the number of distracted drivers talking or texting on their cell phones while driving in a crosswalk. While this initiative concentrated on drivers, pedestrians should also be aware of their responsibility when crossing the street. Traffic officers noted several instances of pedestrians entering crosswalks without first checking for oncoming traffic, talking on their cell phone, crossing in the middle of the street and crossing at a signalized crossing against a "Don't Walk" light.
The Evanston Police Department takes pedestrian safety very seriously and will continue its efforts to monitor crosswalks and take enforcement action. Through education and enforcement, our goal is to make the City of Evanston one of the safest cities in the country for our walking, jogging, and bicycling public.