GPD Cracking Down on Jaywalkers
Records show the number of ticketed jaywalkers in Gainesville tripled from last year and officers are stepping up their crackdown on jaywalkers.
Officers are looking for people who are walking in a marked cross walk when the red hand is up.
As well as crossing mid block when there is an interaction with a cross walk nearby.
"Everyday. When I go to class in the morning it happens with out a doubt," said Beth Thompson.
Thompson who is a UF student said she sees people jaywalking on campus as well as major roads like University Avenue.
"I think that people in Gainesville sometimes think they rule the world if they are pedestrians because on campus you can just walk into a crosswalk and the cars will stop for you," said Thompson.
Police officers are ticketing "jaywalkers" as a way to teach and enforce pedestrian laws.
"When you see people that we like to say are median hopping out on University Avenue or 13th street where they are just running out into a median and then standing there waiting for traffic to pass it's extremely unsafe. Mainly because you have drivers who aren't paying attention as well," said Ofc. Ben Tobias.
Last year GPD gave 27 pedestrian citations from July 1, 2012 to mid Sept. 18, 2012.
This year the number has tripled. From July 2013 to mid September 18, 2013 GPD has written 157 citations.
"I've seen a lot of police officers writing tickets for jaywalking. Especially by my apartment complex. People kind of jump the gun and they go before the little light to tell them to walk," said Thompson.
Naim Vilabrera who is a sophomore at U.F. confessed to me that he has jaywalked before, but is cautious when doing so.
"I look both ways. I make sure the cars are a good way off and I will jog across. I am taking the risk, so if I get hit that's my fault," said Vilabrera.
Other students like Thompson said getting to class a few seconds earlier is not worth the price tag of a ticket.
"I have definitely jay walked before, but especially now that I see the police officers out there all the time. I am just like it's not worth the $50 ticket. I am just going to wait," said Thompson.
Ofc. Tobias said the officers that you see out there writing tickets are there for that specific purpose.
They are not zoned for another area.
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