By Yoos, Cam on April 8, 2019.
This week’s ‘Police Beat’ column by LPS Chief Rob Davis
So far April has provided us with great weather and with that we are seeing more pedestrian and bicycle traffic on our streets. I am typically encouraged to write a reminder to motorists to be alive to this increased traffic as every year there are citizens who share their stories about near misses they have experienced.
I encourage motorists to be alert and watch for pedestrian and foot traffic. Keep off of your devices and pay attention to the roadway, crosswalks and overall surroundings.
This year I see the need to stress to pedestrians and cyclists that you need to do your part as well. In the eight days of April, I have personally witnessed pedestrians talking on their cellphones absolutely oblivious to vehicle traffic – in one case completely ignoring the walk-don’t walk pedestrian control at the intersection.
Last week while at the university, I watched as a pedestrian was head down texting and walked off the sidewalk and in front of a car that was on the roadway travelling to a parking lot. Kudos to the driver of the blue minivan for your attentiveness and recognizing that the pedestrian was not paying attention.
I have also observed cyclists with their earbuds in and oblivious to their surroundings. The most frustrating occurred when I watched as all vehicles travelling south on one of our major arteries came to a stop at a red light but a southbound cyclist proceeded to go through as eastbound traffic began moving forward on the green. The lead eastbound car had to abruptly stop to miss the cyclist and subsequently laid on the horn. The cyclist did not skip a beat and continued southbound, not a care in the world and absolutely unaware of how they nearly caused an accident and may have been seriously injured or killed.
Cyclists are bound by the rules of the road when they are travelling on our streets. A red light means stop.