Editorial: Place Cameras At Crosswalks

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 20 June 2018 17:59

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council should consider installing high definition cameras at crosswalks on Dow Road and Lake Park Blvd. Since these crosswalks were installed at various times in recent years, the Town has regularly fielded complaints from citizens about motorists that ignore State Law and drive right through a crosswalk while pedestrians are present.

Even at the crosswalk at Atlanta Avenue and South Lake Park Blvd near the Carolina Beach Lake where a bright LED light system was installed to alert motorists of the presence of pedestrians in the crosswalk, motorists still commonly disobey the rules and drive right through.

The Carolina Beach Police Department obviously can't position officers at all crosswalks in Town due to the cost of labor, resources and the need for officers to be on patrol rather than in fixed locations.

The obvious solution is to install high definition cameras that are activated when a pedestrian activates the crosswalk sign. The system can snap a shot of the license plate of any vehicle violating the law. A daily review of the photos would allow the police department to mail tickets to offenders.

If this isn't currently permitted by State Law, local leaders can request State Legislators consider new legislation permitting that type of system.

In 2013, the City of Washington D.C. (Different state) installed cameras at crosswalks for that purpose. Their cameras also capture people speeding and motorists running red lights.

Carolina Beach doesn't need to get into the red light camera business, but the expense of installing similar systems at our crosswalks would at least serve to educate offenders through a penalty for willfully violating a most important traffic law.

No situation is 100% perfect. People speed. People roll through Stop Signs and run red lights. However, there are steps that can be taken.

If a bright flashing light isn't enough to deter violations, perhaps a large sign alerting people to the presence of a camera and the cost of a ticket will serve to make crosswalks more safe for pedestrians.

Other options include parking police vehicles at these crosswalks when a vehicle is not in use. Motorists who see police vehicles tend to pay more attention.

The video and still photos captured by those cameras would also serve as valuable evidence in cases where pedestrians are struck by vehicles when using a crosswalk.

The video and photos can be stored for a predetermined amount of time, such as 72 hours.

Just a thought for consideration.

Author

Super User

Super User

Carolina Beach North Carolina

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