“New Port Richey cracking down on jaywalkers”

In New Port Richey, officials are dedicating extra patrols to catching jaywalkers.

As a result, someone who plans to cross U.S. 19 without using a crosswalk could very well get a ticket for jaywalking.

In January alone, more than 30 citations were given to jaywalkers. Anyone who gets a ticket for jaywalking has to pay $62.

The sight of a pedestrian crossing U.S. 19 outside of a crosswalk is a common sight, and the same thing is true throughout downtown New Port Richey. Individuals and even entire families jaywalk to get across Main Street faster.

In recent years, the city has gained the reputation of being one of the most dangerous cities for both pedestrians and cyclists. Siince 2008, the number of pedestrian fatalities has doubled.

The police department is making jaywalking its focus after receiving a grant that allows current patrol officers more time in the field to hand out tickets.

Ofc. Joe Pascalli said the goal of the stepped-up patrols is simple: to keep people safe.

“We don’t want anybody getting hurt, we don’t want pedestrians getting hurt, we don’t want other motorists getting hurt,” he said. “People need to be aware of the law, that they need to cross at a crosswalk.”

Pascalli said one of the worst spots in New Port Richey for jaywalking is U.S. 19 and Green Key Road, which is where several restaurants and a motel are located.

The New Port Richey Police Department hopes they can keep the program going through the rest of the year.

For more information please visit: http://www.baynews9.com/article/news/2011/march/215615/New-Port-Richey-cracking-down-on-jaywalkers