Jaywalking fines enforced in Columbus in attempt to reduce traffic-related fatalities

Jaywalking fines enforced in Columbus in attempt to reduce traffic-related fatalities

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - If you’ve been in Uptown Columbus recently, you may have noticed an increase in Columbus police officers. They said they’re beefing up patrol in an attempt to reduce traffic-related fatalities.

Following the tragic accident involving W.D. Feeney, people in Uptown say they’ve noticed Columbus police handing out more jaywalking tickets than normal.

$200.63, that’s the chunk of change coming out of your wallet if you’re caught jaywalking. But some Broadway regulars say it could cost you more.

“Laziness could cost your life,” Bruce Sellers said.

“And we’re looking at these a whole lot closer than we have before," said Lt. Lance Deaton. "We’ve had seven fatalities this year, four of those fatalities this year have been pedestrians.”

Jaywalking is when you cross the street not in a cross walk or if you use the cross walk improperly.

“If you enter on the white walking man sign, then you get the flashing you’re good to go, just get out of the intersection," Deaton said. "However, if you try to enter on the flashing that’s illegal, that’s like entering an intersection on a yellow light.”

Deaton said you have eight seconds after the white walking man sign disappears to get safely through the crosswalk before the red hand appears. The Columbus Police Department is increasing patrol throughout Columbus to try to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths.

“People are walking around on their phones, checking their emails, doing whatever," Deaton said. "They’re not paying attention and they’re kind of walking up and walking through, not even looking, or they’re walking up, looking at the light, maybe looking at the vehicle and going through. Well what happens if you get halfway through and the light turns green?”

“A lot of our cities aren’t designed for walking and cycling for that matter," Sellers said. "If we make a better city that’s designed more for walking and cycling, we can cut down on those fatalities.”

$200.63 is a lot of money to spend on something that could be easily avoided. Police said take the extra 10 seconds to use a cross walk properly. It could save your wallet and your life.

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