Apr 11, 2006

Officer Tickets 82-year old Woman: Too Slow in Crossing Street

(Sunland, CA) Regular visitors to this site know that I am a sucker for weird news stories, which - in my mind - always seem to be the most human of all news items. I am also an afficianado of the average-person-getting-screwed-by-the-system story, which makes my blood boil.

This next story has both elements.

Mayvis Coyle, an 82-year old who uses a cane, was ticketed by a traffic cop for being to slow in crossing a street in this California town. The $114 citation was for "crossing against a don't-walk signal."

"I entered the crosswalk, it was green," said Coyle. "It turned red before I could get over. There he was, waiting, the motorcycle cop. He said, 'You're obstructing the flow of traffic.'"

Another resident of Sunland said that the crossing signals are quite quick.

"I can go halfway, then the light changes," said Edith Krause, 78. "I try my darndest to get to the other side without being killed."

It is not just the elderly who have difficulty crossing the street in the allotted time.

"It sucks," said Sara Johnson, 14, of Sunland. "When the light turns red, you can't cross the street."

Sgt. Mike Zaboski of the Valley Traffic Division told the LA Daily News that he could not comment on Coyle's ticket. The paper timed the signal at 20 seconds.

"Right now, pedestrian accidents are above normal," he said. "We're looking out for pedestrians - people who think they have carte blanche in crossing the street. I'd rather not have angry pedestrians, but I'd rather have them be alive."

I hope that we have not reached the point where, in our hurried lives, we cannot wait a few extra seconds for an old woman to cross the street.

What is more amazing is that no one in the city or police department has seen fit to intercede and get this February 15 ticket dismissed. The negative publicity from this story must certainly be creating headaches for the local governments.


Lisa Renee said...

When I walk over to the shopping center that Kohl's is in the light there is a royal pain. When it is signaling it is okay to cross it is when the green light for traffic leaving Kohl's and onto Holland Slyvania is on which means cars are speeding out of the parking lot directly on the very path you are supposed to cross.

Makes no sense...it's actually safer to cross down closer to the railroad tracks where there is no light.

Subcomandante Bob said...

The light at Bancroft and Cheltenham near UT is also a speedy one.

This has a lot of pedestrians, too. If you are not right there when it goes off, you couldn't cross in the time allotted.

Of course, I usually jaywalk there, anyways....

Timothy said...

Can't help but notice that Sunland, CA is pretty much the SoCal San Fernando Valley.

...and like they say, nobody walks in LA. On some roads in SoCal, it is illegal to walk down them. Their whole system is set up around the automobile.

Stephanie said...

"We're looking out for pedestrians - people who think they have carte blanche in crossing the street."

Um. Whatever happened to "Pedestrians have the right of way?" I mean, it hasn't been that long since I took driver's ed and the rule was still taught.

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

Pedestrians still have the right of way...if they're crossing at a corner, and not against the light. Otherwise I could step right out in front of anyone I wanted and get some cash!

That doesn't mean this wasn't a stupid ticket, though--she was trying to follow the rules.

Stephanie said...

Wisconsin law must be different.

-Sepp said...

If liberals hadn't labeled the Boy Scouts a "hate group" there would be more of them helping little old ladies across the street! Ahhhh, that good ol' ACLU keeping the world safe.