Limited jaywalking crackdown appropriate

On campus streets with traffic buzzing, cell phones chatting and watches ticking, violating jaywalking laws tends to be the least of one’s concerns. But after receiving numerous complaints from both drivers and pedestrians, the University police decided to crack down last week.

Ticketing about 30 jaywalkers each day, University police also targeted bicyclists illegally cycling on sidewalks and traveling the wrong direction on one-way roads.

Much jaywalking occurs on campus, but it usually doesn’t pose a safety concern when done in areas with no incoming traffic. However, jaywalking in highly trafficked areas on the East Bank has become an all-too-often dangerous occurrence.

Many have encountered daring jaywalkers and bicyclists jetting out in front of traffic. These activities not only endanger lives, but also slow traffic and students trying to get to class on campus buses.

The police focused their jaywalking enforcement mostly on Washington Avenue. They caught most perpetrators at controlled intersections, where they disobeyed blatant no-walk signals and blocked right-of-way traffic.

Officers hope last week’s operation carries a message that will lead to less jaywalking the rest of the school year.

Conducting random jaywalking stings would tend to be unfair and illogical considering police shortages and that complaints have not been made for most areas. We hope the University police continue to enforce jaywalking laws with consistency, focusing their efforts on problematic times and intersections.

Achieving safer streets is important, although this realization often only comes after accidents occur. Fortunately University police aren’t waiting for such incidents to occur before taking action.