Crosswalk warning sign placed in front of library

June 03, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

Westminster police have placed a warning sign in front of the county library on East Main Street warning motorists to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

The sign, an orange traffic cone topped with a stop sign, is in the non-driving center lane of the road.

"Stop For Pedestrians," it says.

Police officers also handed out fliers this week to drivers to inform them that the law requires them to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. The fliers tell motorists to "Be Aware, Be Courteous and Obey The Law." They are available at the main branch of the library and are being distributed at county middle schools.

The small but obvious sign was put in place at 10 a.m. and will remain in the middle of the street from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day but Sunday to assist pedestrians who cross Main Street to reach the library, students who use the crossing, and to aid the shoppers, said Police Chief Sam Leppo.

The chief said the sign was tested for about 30 minutes two weeks ago and it brought many motorists to a halt on the busy street when a pedestrian stepped into the crosswalk.

"Many drivers stopped even when there were no pedestrians," the chief said.

When the officers gave the fliers to motorists Wednesday, they also checked for safety belt use. Three of the first four drivers they encountered were not wearing seat belts, including a woman whose daughter was sitting in the rear seat without a belt on, they reported.

At 10:31 a.m., Mayor W. Benjamin Brown drove along Main Street, stopped as the officer handed him a flier, thanked him, saluted the chief nearby and drove on. The mayor was wearing his seat belt.

While the officers were at the scene, several pedestrians crossed the street by walking between cars and not using the crosswalk.

"We have to educate the pedestrians to use the crosswalk, as well as [educating] the motorists on the law," Chief Leppo said.

While several pedestrians walked across Main Street during the time the officers handed out their fliers, a delegation of library employees applauded when traffic stopped in both directions to allow one of their companions to cross the busy street safely.

Chief Leppo said police officers will remain in the area to observe and warn motorists of the law if they do not give the right of way to pedestrians.

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