Here's a corollary to last week's Isthmus story ("You Stopped Me for That?," 5/21/10) on police efforts to uphold pedestrians' rights.
At about 8:15 a.m. last Friday, Steve Kalscheur was waiting to cross Midvale Boulevard near his home, right by Midvale Elementary. He says the first in a series of cars heading down the street stopped for him, causing a multi-car accident.
Madison Police spokesman Howard Payne confirms there were three rear-end collisions, involving a total of four cars. The driver of the last vehicle was cited for inattentive driving. A young girl in one of the cars was taken to the hospital with a minor neck injury. Laments Kalscheur, "This sort of thing is bound to happen because there's no enforcement."
Payne says, the lead car "appropriately stopped" for the pedestrian. Kalscheur disagrees, saying he hadn't stepped off the curb and the driver "should have kept going" because other cars were traveling too fast and following too close.
Here's the rule: If a pedestrian commits to crossing the street in a crosswalk and there is time for oncoming traffic to safely stop, it must do so. And Sgt. Eric Tripke, leader of the MPD's Traffic Enforcement Safety Team, says, "It is the responsibility of the vehicles following the lead vehicle to follow at a safe distance, and to pay attention to their own driving."
In this case, "from our perspective, the cars following are at fault."