Should Police Write More Jaywalking Tickets in Philadelphia?

A reporter in Philadelphia doesn't hold back the innuendo in a recent article about the city's efforts to improve pedestrian safety. The implication: pedestrians won't be safe until the police start writing jaywalking tickets.
May 16, 2014, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"In Philadelphia's stepped-up efforts to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries, one tactic has not been used: Issuing tickets to scofflaw pedestrians," reports Paul Nussbaum. In fact, Philadelphia police have written zero tickets for jaywalking so far this year.

As Nussbaum reports, however, "[in] Philadelphia, pedestrians routinely ignore red lights and 'don't walk' signals, and are as likely to cross in the middle of a block as at a crosswalk." Moreover, "[distracted] walking has also become a growing problem."

To be fair, Philadelphia faces a large challenge when it comes to improving the safety of its streets. Reports Nussbaum: "Pedestrians represent a much larger share of traffic fatalities in Philadelphia than in the nation as a whole: In 2012, 32 percent of people killed in traffic accidents in Philadelphia were pedestrians, compared with 14 percent nationwide."

"And last month, the city won a $525,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to 'expand pedestrian safety education and enforcement efforts.'" The city was one of three (along with New York City and Louisville) to receive such funding.

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Published on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 in Philadelphia Inquirer
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