In the middle of August, personal injury Attorney Michael Hupy prepared a letter for all 19 metro-Milwaukee police chiefs and mayors demanding enforcement of pedestrian right-of-way laws. Before the letters could be sent out, a fatal pedestrian traffic accident occurred, serving as a chilling reminder of why pedestrian laws need to be obeyed and enforced.
On August 11, newly engaged 32-year-old Andrea Barringer was killed in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident on Milwaukee’s east side on the corner of Farwell and Irving at a pedestrian crosswalk. People who frequent the area have complained about cars driving too fast and not yielding to pedestrians even though they are legally obligated to do so.
The following day, when Attorney Hupy’s letters were sent, another hit-and-run pedestrian accident took place at a clearly marked crosswalk on the corner of Teutonia and Silver Spring. This time, the 63-year-old victim lived, but still suffered life-threatening injuries.
These types of incidents are precisely why Attorney Hupy is demanding that pedestrian laws be enforced by local police officers.
“It’s a matter of training,” said Attorney Hupy. “Police departments have to take the lead and issue citations. We get pedestrian cases all the time and every one we take is someone who was in the crosswalk and the driver didn’t yield the right-of-way.”
Attorney Hupy added, “In this area, there’s a lack of understanding … Drivers don’t realize that they need to stop or yield for pedestrians whenever there’s a crosswalk. I’ve even seen county buses and city police not follow the law. Even if people do know the law exists, they feel they don’t need to follow it.”
In an effort to saves lives, Attorney Hupy is asking police to enforce pedestrian laws. By issuing citations to violators, drivers will immediately become more aware of pedestrian laws and start obeying them.
Currently, the City of Milwaukee is experimenting with “Rapid Flash LED Beacons” that pedestrians can activate to flash rapidly at drivers and remind them to stop. The chief traffic engineer for Milwaukee, Bob Bryson, says the beacons are getting “rave reviews” elsewhere.
Hopefully, the mayors, police officers and citizens of the metro-Milwaukee area take Attorney Hupy’s message to heart and yield to pedestrians at all crosswalks to save lives.