Crosswalk Crackdown

The Marblehead Police Department is looking to male local roadways safer for pedestrians through "Operation Crosswalk."

Drivers who blow through red lights, disregard stop signs and fail to yield for pedestrians at crosswalks be warned - Marblehead police officers are out looking for you.

Over the last two weeks, has gone ahead with "Operation Crosswalk," an effort aimed at making local roadways safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Although the name suggests that the initiative will target drivers who commit crosswalk violations, Police Chief Robert Picariello said officers will be pulling people over for an assortment of traffic violations.

"This is going to be an ongoing thing," Picariello said. "We are just trying to correct bad driving in general - that's what issuing citations is all about."

According to the department's , over the last ten days, local officers have initiated 75 traffic stops and issued some 20 citations for violations that include failure to yield at a crosswalk, littering, running a red light, rolling through a stop sign, driving on the sidewalk and speeding.

"We will be out at the intersections we get the most complaints about," Picariello said. "We know the spots where we have the most violations - this isn't a big town, we know where they are."

Where do you think the most dangerous intersection in town is? Let us know in this week's .

James Tighe November 01, 2011 at 11:02 AM
I walk a lot in town and have seen people blowing though stop signs or doing rolling stops. I was wondering when some one would catch up to these people. Elm street intersetion would be a good place to watch as it would be near the 7/11.
Leslie Carter November 01, 2011 at 11:12 AM
While I think this initiative is a great start I also think there needs to be some attention to pedestrians and the lack of knowledge and care to crossing streets in town. I grew up in a busy city and now as a mother of three young children of my own am so disturbed by how many people in smaller towns seem to think that just stepping out into the road means a car should stop. I am teaching my children to wait for a car to not only fully stop but then make eye contact if possible with the driver and a hand up gesture letting them know "thanks, I see you have stopped for me and I am going to cross now". They have come to understand, everyone can make a mistake, and cars are machines only being handled by people. In my 10 years living here, it just seems that a little more needs to be a addressed - all in all it's about courtesy and a respect for others.
Ray DePaula November 01, 2011 at 11:59 AM
I think its one of the best things that this town has done in ways of protecting everyone. It is a small town, You don't need to be flying through it to get from one end to the other in less then 5min. All the main roads are near or close to a school, (slow down you don't know where a child or adult for that matter will come from,)
MHH101 November 01, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Hip-hip-hooray......making our roadways safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Last week, pressed the walk signal to cross Pleasant at School....and while nearly half way across, cars blow right through the intersection at 30MPH. On a regular basis, motorists blow through the STOP sign at Pond and Green. Soooooo many others.
Sandy Doliber Campbell November 01, 2011 at 01:24 PM
This is all well and good, however, there is an even bigger problem in Marbleheaad. The pedestrians! Keep an eye on them and start issuing citations for "jaywalking". I don't know how many times daily you will see someone or a group come within anywhere from less than a foot to 10' or more from a crosswalk and then "jaywalk" ... cross where they are as opposed to using the crosswalk. This in my opinion is even more dangerous!
Sandy Doliber Campbell November 01, 2011 at 01:34 PM
In addition, when I was learning to drive (many moons ago), the lesson was that when a person or group steps to the curb at a crosswalk that means their intention is to cross. My job as the driver is to stop at that time and let them cross. I was also taught that as a pedestrian you do NOT step into a crosswalk and wait for the driver to stop ... you wait on the curb. Credit to Leslie Carter above and the safety lessons she is teaching her children. They will remember these for life. Although "it's about courtesy and a respect for others", it is primarily about the "rules of the road" so-to-speak and the safety of the community.
Peter Lake, LAKE Real Estate November 01, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Sandy and Leslie are absolutely correct about pedestrians who think that they ought to be able to cross any street, anywhere, anytime. The city of Los Angeles writes 10,000 jaywalking tickets a year. How many jaywalking tickets have been written in Marblehead? Or in the whole state of Massachusetts? I've never heard of a jaywalking ticket being written in Massachusetts.
Gean Bronson November 01, 2011 at 03:24 PM
You are so correct.I moved to Marblehead from So.Cal. where we were taught to respect the roadway.
Peter Lake, LAKE Real Estate November 01, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Gean, The whole theory of driving was very different in California when I went to grad school at UCLA back in the day. California's laws were designed to promote "the smooth flow of traffic", which meant no double-parking, pedestrians having to wait for lights to change before they could walk. Turning right on red lights was permitted in California when it was still prohibited in the rest of the nation, through the 70's. The law then in Massachusetts was like Mexico: whomever got to an intersection first and turned into it had the right of way, no matter if an oncoming car had to hit the brakes. Laws are more uniform now between the two states, but jaywalking in cities like New York and Boston are treasured artifacts of the past. What bugs me is the look some pedestrians give when you don't stop for their mid-block, illegal crossings. "Sorry, pedestrians, but 27 years in California taught me that if I stopped for a jaywalker, that would subject YOU to a ticket. It's a hard habit to break." It's illegal in Massachusetts for a pedestrian to cross in the middle of block if a crosswalk is with a certain number of feet (I think it's 100 feet), but that law's never enforced. It's only drivers now that are the subject of enforcement. No one wants to run down jaywalkers, but stopping for someone illegally crossing sends the wrong message -that pedestrians rule.
James Tighe November 01, 2011 at 09:00 PM
So many great thoughts...........I guess this touched a nerve alright.....
GSkin November 02, 2011 at 12:52 AM
I cannot count how many times in the past year I have ATTEMPTED to cross in the crosswalk at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Mohawk Road as the bike path crosses and continues - right where Allie Castner was tragically struck. I make it a habit to count how many cars blow right by without slowing. Rarely is the count less than 3 and the record is11! That cross walk is probably the most sensitive crosswalks in town and the fact that so many people fly by someone standing between the lines is strong evidence that, as a collective whole, drivers need to take personal responsibility for how they command a vehicle.
Peter Lake, LAKE Real Estate November 02, 2011 at 09:29 AM
If it's an issue you might try to enlist the police to stand there, hidden behind a tree, taking names and kicking butts. And tell them to park the cruiser around the corner. Selective enforcement works everywhere around the country (See David Kennedy's new book, "Don't Shoot") and it ought to be practiced here. You can see the police plan for the future on www.Marblehead.org but nowhere does it say "Hide behind tree to catch scoflaws." It should.


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