Crosswalk 'sting'

June 12, 2006 11:00 pm

Baker City Police don't want to write people tickets for violating Oregon's crosswalk laws today.

But they will.

Police employed a summer Pedestrian Safety campaign, formerly known as Operation Crosswalk, to great success in 2002 and 2003.

The victory wasn't measured in tickets written or fines levied, however.

We see it every day in the conscientiousness of motorists who stop for pedestrians at intersections.

Many pedestrians return the favor by attempting to cross the street at either marked crosswalks or major intersections where motorists expect to look for foot traffic.

A Pedestrian Safety campaign is not about writing tickets. That's why the police have traditionally asked us to let everybody know when and where the ‘sting' would take place.

It's about reminding motorists to stop for pedestrians, and getting pedestrians to stop jaywalking, which Baker's wide streets render a particularly bad and dangerous habit.

Inevitably, some folks will get stung. And some folks will complain — either about the sting, or the naming of the time and place.

Bottom line: pedestrians and motorists need to work together in as simple and seemless a way possible. That happens around here, and efforts like today's sting — coupled with old-fashioned courtesy — can take the credit.