EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Crosswalk safety takes center stage in Easthampton after a flurry of complaints from concerned citizens.
Just within the past two weeks, Easthampton Police have really kept a close eye on crosswalks, especially downtown.
They say the purpose is to keep streets as safe as possible and address what many people think is a growing danger, especially to children.
On any given weekday, parents walk their kids to and from the Young World Child Care Center on Main Street using one of the busiest and most complained about crosswalks in town.
Young World Director Holly Krieszek has witnessed firsthand how difficult it is for parents and children to cross the busy street. “We have people darting in and people backing out and it’s just a lot,” she said. “It’s just congested.”
That’s something you don’t have to tell Juliette Mooers and her 3-year-old son.
She’s been taken him to Young World for 2 years and they’ve had several close calls.
“It’s pretty dangerous I think and I’m not the only parent,” Mooers said outside the child care center on Wednesday. “About once a week we dodge cars and I’m holding his hand and I have to put him behind me to make sure because cars don’t stop. If a car does stop then the car behind them won’t stop, so you have to worry about the chain reaction. It’s pretty crazy.”
Spurred on by complaints from parents like Mooers, and an accident back in October when a Williston student was hit by a car right in front of her school, Easthampton police stepped up crosswalk enforcement earlier this month.
The town has also put up signs, reminding drivers that stopping for pedestrians at a crosswalk isn’t just the law in Easthampton – it’s a law statewide. But even so, police say it’s not enough for just motorists to pay attention. It’s important for everyone to stay alert and stay safe.
Easthampton police tell ABC40 that so far this year they’ve issued 33 citations to drivers for going through crosswalks. More than half of them – 17 - in just the last two weeks. They also say they have no plans to draw down their crosswalk enforcement any time soon.