Sunday, October 26, 2014

In Effort to Make Streets Safer And Equitable, City Pilots 'Crosswalk Karma'

Endangered a pedestrian's safety?  Get ready to walk through that same intersection 100 times.
image found here.
Motorists that blow through red lights, stop signs, and otherwise endanger pedestrians during their grueling race against time are in for a rude awaking.  San Francisco officials understand that ticketing a small number of offenders isn't going to do much to stem the rash of injury and deaths in the city. They've come up with a pilot program that doesn't affect a driver's pocketbook.  Instead it forces the offender to cross the same intersection 100 times or more by foot, depending on the offense.  It's called "Crosswalk Karma" and it aims to even out the disparity between people walking and people driving.

Jeff might actually yield to peds in this dangerous crosswalk next time in his car
image found here
Jeff Linger, caught running a red light in a heavily pedestrian area, was sentenced to cross the intersection 156 times during rush hour.  Jeff argued, "this is cruel and unusual punishment" and followed with, "and I will never run though a red light again... those drivers out here are insane!" A few offenders have offered ten to twenty times the normal fine just to get out of this program.  Cheryl Gardner, in tears, said, "I'll be sure to just wait until the pedestrians pass through the crosswalk the next time around.  This area is scary."

Cheryl, agitated, crosses the same street she blew through with her car a month ago.  56 more times to go, Cheryl!
Image found here.
San Francisco projects traffic related injuries and fatalities to drop 100% in one year, but it's not without its opponents.  Amnesty International expressed their "grave concern" this barbaric punishment that puts motorists "at extreme risk of death or permanently disabling injury".  The United Nations is also deciding on whether or not to charge SF with crimes against humanity.