Police Increase Efforts to Improve Car, Bike, and Pedestrian Safety
Beginning this weekend, Davidson Police will increase enforcement of traffic regulations to make town streets safer for drivers, walkers and bicyclists.
Chief Penny Dunn explained, “We actually stepped up enforcement in late August, after seeing an increase in auto-pedestrian collisions and near-misses while pedestrians were crossing properly in crosswalks. One teenager and her dog were struck in a crosswalk and suffered minor injuries.”
Dunn said the stepped up enforcement will focus on several areas— speeding; passing a school bus while loading or unloading; unlawful use of mobile telephones; vehicle driver violations of a crosswalk; pedestrian jaywalking; and crossing against a traffic light or crossing indicator.
The enforcement efforts will address those violations through a combination of education, awareness, and enforcement. Signs will be posted at high risk crossings and roadways to encourage compliance with crosswalk safety. The Davidson College Police Department will partner with town police on streets adjacent to the campus.
There will also be an increased presence of officers downtown, where they will be distributing literature on the danger of jaywalking, and giving warnings to bicycle and pedestrian crossing violators. Dunn said beginning this weekend the decision to merely warn violators or ticket them is left to the discretion of the officers.
Dunn noted that citations were issued last week to a driver traveling through the flashing sign crosswalk on Davidson-Concord Road at 52 mph in a 35 zone. Fortunately, the pedestrian crossing the road was acting safely, and checked for approaching traffic before crossing. The speed limit on most town streets is 25 mph.
Dunn said her 28 years on the San Marcos, Texas police force showed her the effectiveness of such campaigns. She said, “While I worked there, the downtown area and courthouse square became an entertainment destination that attracted a lot of people. There were still incidents of injury with auto-pedestrian collisions, but fewer than normal considering the large population and the location of a large state university adjacent to downtown. I believe this was due to the increased presence of officers for awareness and enforcement.”
Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.