More "Awareness" Bullcrap - Cops in Crosswalks

Editorial by Jim Gerrish

According to city propagandist Connie Jackson, “starting Friday, May 29, 2015, the East Orange Police Department will launch a 'Cops in Crosswalks' Campaign to increase public awareness about pedestrian safety and to reduce injuries and deaths, said city officials. This effort will continue until June 30th.”

Let's see, we have just had our "awareness increased" about a domestic violence "epidemic", asthma, "going green", climate change, autism, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide poisoning, WOMEN'S HIV/AIDS, Code Blue, BLACK HIV/AIDS, Wearing Orange for Gun Violence, Wearing Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, and that was just in far. These are all important issues, but each one is treated as if it is the most important thing in the world about which you MUST be made aware. We jump from one "awareness" fad to the next. It's not just East Orange; the whole world is "aware crazy" and on a mission to make "the public" aware about the latest "cause". Too much awareness can put you to sleep and distract you from your REAL MISSION... to stay alive and to keep your family alive and healthy.

So let's examine this latest Cops in Crosswalks Campaign, awareness-wise. It focuses on a single state law regarding pedestrians in crosswalks. The law requires drivers to "stop and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk". It sounds like a good law on the surface, but it fails to address the real cause of pedestrian fatalities: speed.

Where/when pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2013:

More occurred in urban areas (73%) than rural areas (27%).

More occurred at non-intersections (69%) than at intersections
(20%) for pedestrian location (10% was other locations such
as parking lanes/zones, bicycle lanes, shoulders/roadsides,
sidewalks, medians/crossing islands, driveway accesses, shared use
paths/trails, non-trafficway areas, and other).

More occurred in the dark (72%) than in daylight (25%), dawn
(2%), and dusk (2%).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes. In 2012, speeding was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes, and 10,219 lives were lost in speeding related crashes. According to their own charts and graphs, it has remained at about 30% since 2003.

But if 30% seems low to you, consider that that is only a statistic regarding accidents where someone was killed. If we look at any and all car accidents and two types of speeding (Driving Too Fast For Conditions and Exceeding Posted Speed Limit) the number rises into the eighties.

I have personal experience with speeding-related accidents, living on Sanford Street where cars routinely exceed the 25 MPH residential speed limit, ignored by the police.

Here is one example from January, 2015, but each year there has been at least one speeding-related accident on Sanford Street within sight of my house. I wouldn't even be living here if a speeding-related accident on Sanford Street in the 1990's hadn't killed the former homeowner, leaving the house up for sale. That's my "awareness level." I don't need it raised any further, thank you.

What we really need is for the Police to be AWARE that there are speed limits posted in our city, and that cars and trucks do not always obey those limits. Getting drivers to slow down to the posted limits on all roads would be more useful than just focusing on intersections.

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