Police stop 64 drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians

Police officers staking out a crosswalk on the Marquette University campus caught drivers failing to yield to a pedestrian as fast as they could set their trap, during a high visibility enforcement action Tuesday afternoon.

Milwaukee officers pulled 0ver 64 drivers who failed to yield – in two hours, and they’re still waiting for the tally from the Marquette University police who joined them.

The cliche, “it was like shooting fish in a barrel” fits perfectly. Officers on motorcycles watched a Marquette freshman, Dakota Elm, attempt to cross N. 16th Street in a clearly marked crosswalk highlighted with flashing warning lights and stopped motorists who violated the law. They were rolling after drivers every couple minutes, or as fast as they could finish one stop and return for another.

The officers issued 12 citations and 67 warnings, keeping with the educational mission conducted through an $8,000 grant from the Department of Transportation.

How important is that work? Nearly 30 percent of the people killed while walking in 2011, 2012 and 2013 were hit by drivers who failed to yield to them as required by state law. That’s nearly 50 mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters killed because someone didn’t follow the law or safe safe driving practices.

The death toll helped motivate the Wisconsin Bike Fed to conduct Wisconsin Walks month, and remind people to stop for their neighbor.

Click here for a guide to conduct your own Yield to Pedestrians action, along with information about the Bike Fed Share & Be Aware Program and Wisconsin Walks events.

7 thoughts on “Police stop 64 drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians

  1. Next stop, the corner of Winnebago and Riverside in Madison, where you can see cars running the red light with impunity.

  2. My first thought when I saw the headline, “Police Stop 64 Drivers” was – ” What? At ONE intersection maybe…. The police could select any intersection in the state that has pedestrians and do this. Since the pedestrian was killed in Whitefish Bay, I have personally witnessed at least four close calls in the same area, with the cause being people driving like maniacs. Even in a small area like WFB, having a person killed is not enough to slow the cars down. With zero enforcement of traffic laws, we’ll probably have another one soon. At least they did something at Marquette.

  3. I guess I’m not totally shocked. Personally, when I’m biking, I am not a fan of cars giving me right of way, since it so rarely happens and the other vehicles in either the oncoming traffic lanes or next lane rarely yield at the same time, so it usually causes friction.

    • Roger,

      I agree about people in cars yielding to me on a bike when they are not required to do so. It is another symptom of people who don’t understand the rules of the road and the laws regarding walking and bicycling. Another symptom is people who don’t understand that people in cars are required to yield, so they wait forever until the road is totally clear of cars. I saw this happen all the time when I worked downtown. I would be walking toward a corner at an uncontrolled intersection, like at the Riverwalk, and see someone who was waiting to cross. I’d get there, wait briefly for a safe gap in traffic, cross the street and expect the cars to slow or stop and yield to me. I get across the street and the person was often still waiting there behind me on the other side of the street. If people don’t know when they have a right to cross the street, they surely don’t know when to yield to other people crossing.

      While I don’t like people to stop for me when I am riding if they are just trying to be nice but have no legal reason to yield to me, I do expect people to yield to me when I am walking in a crosswalk and on the more rare occasions when I am on a bike in a crosswalk, like at the crosswalks for the Hank Aaron at 25th by the roundabout.

  4. I find that East Side drivers have a tendency to block the crosswalk when they stop at a light, and when we want them to back up and there’s room behind them to do so, they don’t. Does backing out of a crosswalk make a motorist a wimp? I doubt it.

  5. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, more than 40 people in Wisconsin were killed by motorists who failed to yield the right of way in crosswalks. I’m not sure of your thinking, but spending $8,000 to reduce that number of moms and dads, sisters and brothers being killed seems like a good investment. Also, the $8,000 has been spent by multiple departments over the summer, not just one enforcement action. You mischaracterized that in your post.

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