Didn't Stop For Donald? Get A Ticket!

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Joined: 08/30/2008
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Didn't Stop For Donald? Get A Ticket!

Always stop when you see a giant Donald Duck about to cross a street.

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2014/11/11/dnt-wabc-undercover-donald-duck-cop.wabc.html

Zz.

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alicemouse's picture
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Joined: 10/22/2013
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I feel like the department may receive a call from the nice folks at Disney legal. I doubt that this is a sanctioned use of Donald Duck and that costume is awful!

On the subject of this crosswalk issue, you've hit a hot button issue for me, Zz! I recall my grandmother teaching me how to cross the street safely as a young child. Nowhere in grandma's lesson did it say that I should amble into the street and expect the cars to stop for me. I seem to recall something about "the cars are bigger and faster than you, so you have to wait on the sidewalk until there's no traffic and then you may cross the street."

The city of Harrisburg recently did a similar sting operation and the mayor was the one acting as the pedestrian. No Donald Duck costume, but as I understand it, he was just hanging out at the intersection several feet from the corner and the police were fining drivers who had not stopped and offered him the opportunity to cross the street. I feel like this is a very ambiguous issue and that there is a lack of a consistent standard to determining right and wrong and applying penalties accordingly. One driver slamming on their breaks for a potential crossing pedestrian could easily cause an accident if the drive behind him reads the pedestrian as some guy standing on a street corner waiting for a friend. Pedestrians are the more vulnerable group in this situation and I think it is important that when we are walking, jogging, biking, or anything else that puts us at risk with coming in contact with traffic that we take responsibility for making ourselves as safe as possible. Certainly the driver who is wielding the 2-ton automobile needs to be alert and aware, but there are two people involved in this situation and it is a two-person solution that should be based on mutual respect. For either party, the answer should be "when in doubt, wait."

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crazycatperson's picture
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Joined: 09/19/2011
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I'm of the opinion that anyone who didn't stop for Donald when he was in the crosswalk deserves a fine, but those who drove past while he was ambling around on the sidewalk near the crosswalk should get a break. For all they knew he was trying to hail a taxi, waiting for a friend, who knows.

We were in a similar situation a few days ago in Hagerstown. We were driving in the left lane of a one-way street and a woman was at the edge of the sidewalk obviously waiting to cross. Problem was, hubby drives a full-size, crew-cab, long-bed truck and there were parked vehicles along the left side of the road. Neither the vehicles behind us nor those on our right would've been able to see the woman through our huge truck. So if hubby had stopped and the woman had started to cross, she would've been in danger of being hit by a driver in the right lane who never knew she was there, and we would've been in danger of being rear ended by the vehicle behind us. Pedestrian safety laws are necessary, but they need to be applied with a large dose of common sense. On the other hand, many Americans seem oblivious to the presence of crosswalks, and we need to do a better job of noticing them and stopping when necessary.

Agreed that the costume is horrid and undoubtedly not sanctioned by Disney.

Mrferret's picture
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Joined: 03/02/2013
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Is it just me or should there be some sort of pedestrian lights there rather than just a crosswalk.

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Magic Mirror's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2012
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Now why don't I get assigned undercover work like that!!??!!
We just installed pedestrian lights, I might recommend this to the chief...
and..
I will tell him he should send me to Disney so I can do my "research"...
after all- I'd want Donald to seem real!

Mandy's picture
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Joined: 06/18/2013
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Mrferret wrote:
Is it just me or should there be some sort of pedestrian lights there rather than just a crosswalk.

A couple intersections down here near Disney, have pedestrian lights. You push a button then the lights flash, hopefully drivers know to slow down and stop when the lights are flashing.

jw24's picture
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A non-sanctioned Disney costume is nothing new. Anyone who's been to Times Square in New York or Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles knows their presence. As to why Disney hasn't taken legal action on that is anyone's guess.

Since the incident took place in New Jersey, interestingly enough in Fort Lee which isn't too far from where I live, it's subject to NJ Law. NJ Law states: The driver of a vehicle must stop and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk, but shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals, or where otherwise prohibited by municipal, county, or State regulation, and except where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided, but no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

As for the crosswalk issue, it needs to be a two-way street. (No joke intended.) Pedestrians need to be more aware of their surroundings and with a good portion of people either listening to music or doing activities on their smartphone while they're walking, it's almost asking for disaster. The pedestrian should never cross the street through a crosswalk when the road they're crossing has green light traffic in the first place. But the driver needs to do his or her part though. Like the pedestrians, they need to be aware of their surroundings and settings, as well. It's pretty clear from every state law, you have to yield to pedestrians no matter what the situation. My feeling was that the officer was simulating an extreme case where someone for whatever reason, may be inclined to cross the street into oncoming green light traffic.

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