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Clearwater Police: Follow the rules, or fork over the cash

Officers to ticket jaywalkers
Posted at 6:54 PM, Mar 24, 2017

Dashing across a 6-lane highway as cars speed by at 60 miles per hour! Clearwater Police are fed up with bikers and walkers putting their lives on the line. If you’re caught breaking the rules, you’ll have to cough up the cash.

“They just go!,” Driver Dianne Corvello exclaimed, “you can’t take your eyes off for one second!”

Friday an entire group of 20 Clearwater High Schoolers darted across the busy 6-lane Gulf to Bay Boulevard. It’s enough to make your heart skip a beat.

Two students tripped— midway across the street! Another student played with his phone while standing in the median with cars zooming past.

Corvello is flabbergasted, “It puts a lot of pressure on the drivers. I feel like I need 6 eyes to see everyone darting across and pay attention to the road and traffic signals.”

She’s thankful that Clearwater Police officers are trying to stop the madness. “Thank god they’re cracking down,” she added enthusiastically.

Sgt. William Hodgson was busy Friday. “The guy on the bike just shot across the road,” he shouted into his radio.

Hodgson is trying to stop every biker and walker jaywalking across the incredibly busy highway.

“We’re just out here for your safety we’ve had a lot of walkers and bikers hit,” he told one biker. Shane Vonarx, who was pulled over for disobeying a crosswalk sign explained, “I should know better. My friend actually got killed a few days ago in a traffic crash.”

Every person admitted to the officers that they know better. And soon, it will cost you a whopping $62.50.

Starting April 2, there won’t be any more warnings. Citations will be given to any bikers and walkers jaywalking or not using the crosswalks appropriately.

Hodgson knows the tickets won’t sit well with all walkers and bikers, but he’s had far too many talks with sobbing loved ones, “You tell the family members that the victim was simply trying to get across the road and if they had only waited for the crosswalk we wouldn’t be at this tragic point. That’s an awful conversation to have,” he added.

In 2016 and the first 3 months of 2017, 213 bikers and walkers have been hit in Clearwater. 9 were killed.

Sometimes tickets are the only way to drive the message home.

“I want to keep you alive,” one officer muttered as he gave a bicyclist a warning, “It’s as simple as that.”