Cincinnati Police begin 30-day crackdown on aggressive driving, jaywalking
PLEASANT RIDGE, Ohio (WKRC) - Two Cincinnati Police motorcycle officers set up along Hamilton Avenue in Northside Tuesday afternoon.
"We've had a couple left of center, where somebody gets impatient as an operator. Obviously, the primary answer to why they crossed the center line to pass a slow or stopped vehicle is 'I'm running late,'" Officer Thomas Haas said.
It didn't take long for them to catch a speeder. They're part of a 30-day blitz aimed at changing driver and pedestrian behavior across the city. All five districts and more than a dozen neighborhoods are being targeted.
"Crossing guards were complaining cars weren't really adhering to their wishes, and the stop signs they hold, saying, 'Hey, we have children crossing. We're trying to cross the kids here,'" Haas said.
It's not just people behind the wheel; officers say people crossing the street are a big problem too.
"We have a lot of pedestrians paying attention to their phones, paying attention to other things, rather than paying attention to traffic and going to the proper crosswalks and crossing the street at that time," Haas said.
Hit-and-run crashes are on the rise, according to AAA. Nearly two-thirds of the victims are people walking or on their bicycles. Making it worse are people not using marked crosswalks.
"[Pedestrians] seem to have the belief that once they touch the road with their foot that they have the right-of-way and cars better stop. That's kind of the attitude and that's not the attitude to have. You don't want to contend with a 2,500-3,500-pound vehicle and you're going to lose every single time. It doesn't matter whether you're wrong or right," said Haas.
Pleasant Ridge is another neighborhood officers are focusing on. Nicholas Neblett has a great view of Ridge and Montgomery avenues from the Royal Chamber Salon.
"It's getting worse with social media. People are looking at their phones when they come up to the red light. The first thing they do is look at their cameras and texting and so that creates an issue," Neblett said.
Officers will be focusing on the following neighborhoods:
- West End
- Pleasant Ridge
- Hyde Park
- Mount Washington
- Lower Price Hill
- East Price Hill
- Bond Hill
- Walnut Hills
- Paddock Hills
- Mount Airy
- Winton Hills
- College Hill
People and bicyclists being hit make up 16 percent of all traffic fatalities and that number is on the rise.
Police chose the spots based on complaints about aggressive driving and speeding from neighbors.