Thursday, March 11, 2010

Geelong public furious at $58 jaywalk fines at intersections

Margaret Linley From: Geelong Advertiser March 11, 2010 9:39AM

Police issue fines at the corner of Moorabool and Ryrie St in Geelong. Picture: Geelong Advertiser

POLICE busted 80 people for jaywalking in Geelong yesterday, raking in thousands in revenue from fines and sparking angry responses.

Four plainclothes police officers will stake out Geelong intersections daily until the end of June catching people who disobey traffic lights, the Geelong Advertiser reports.

A mum with a pram and numerous school students were among those caught in the sting, labelled by some as a waste of police resources.

Steve, of Waurn Ponds, who declined to give his full name, described it as "almost comical" and said children were being hit with $58 on-the-spot fines.

"I've been sitting here for a while (on the corner of Ryrie and Moorabool streets) and I've seen drug dealers and thugs walking up Moorabool St, blind Freddie could see it," he said.

"And yesterday I saw two police on each side of Malop St, staking it out and grabbing school kids. I've no doubt Geelong is not a safe place in terms of traffic and hustle and bustle but it's not a great way to spend taxpayers' money."

The fines are dealt out for crossing against the lights, crossing the road near but not at the lights, and beginning to cross the lights when the red man is flashing.

People crossing without pressing the button first, meaning there is no green man flashing, are also breaking the law and being fined.

Criticism that police would be better employed fighting other crime was "like water off a duck's back", a local senior constable said yesterday.

"These people (who complain) would be the first to complain if they get run over," he said.

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