Police Stats Show Who Gets Tickets for Red-Light Turns at Dangerous Intersection
The most frequent violators of the no-turn-on-red rules at a busy intersection in Sioux Falls were overwhelmingly young, white male residents of Sioux Falls, according to data released to KSOO by the Sioux Falls Police Department.
If this was a straight news story, that would be my lead. But this has never been a straight news story.
Regular listeners to the Patrick Lalley Show will recall that I’m upset with the decision by the City of Sioux Falls to allow motorists to turn right on red lights at the intersections at 10th and 11th streets on Minnesota Avenue.
You may also remember I talked about an effort to organize a protest of sorts to express the general displeasure with the decision. Protest is a strong word, but basically there’s going to be a bike ride to Carnegie Town Hall for the City Council meeting on Tuesday. The public comment period starts at 7.
You don’t have to ride a bike to participate. That’s just what we do. Show up. All who have concerns are welcome.
I’ve also done some analysis of the tickets issues at that intersection beginning in 2013. More on that in a moment.
Why are we upset? For quick review, a woman died there in 2003. Edie Adams was 58 and an employee of the Argus Leader. She was hit by a right turning driver — on a green light with a walk signal — and died later that day.
I was working at the Argus Leader that day. It was disturbing that Mayor Mike Huether held a press conference just feet from where Edie was killed to announce he was allowing red turn on right when pedestrians aren’t present. You can read what I wrote on that subject here, and you can listen here and here.
Then a former colleague suggested finding out who got tickets at the intersection to find out why the mayor might do this. It was a good question. So I asked the Sioux Falls Police Department for the data and they gave me five years. They would not, however, release the names citing state and federal laws restricting the release of that information.
I’m not done digging on that bit, but I thought it would be instructive to look at what we have thus far. What do the stats show?
- 2013-17 (Sept. 6) – 69 total tickets taken from two categories that are used by police officers for right on red violations.
- 28 women – 41 men
- Race of the driver
- Arab American – 1
- Asian – 1
- Black – 14
- Hispanic – 2
- Native American -2
- White – 49
- Numbers by year
- 2013 – 8
- 2014 – 12
- 2015 – 15
- 2016 – 16
- 2017 – 18
- Average Age – 34.2
- Median Age – 29
- Youngest – 15 (2)
- Oldest – 76
- California – 1
- Iowa – 2
- Minnesota – 1
- Blank – 1
- South Dakota – 64; Sioux Falls area zip codes — 58
What does it all mean? My first take-away is that this isn’t a matter of ignorance of out-of-state drivers or people from the countryside. It’s white, male, Sioux Falls residents who should know better and just aren’t paying attention.
I’ve got more information from a survey done by a member of the Falls Area Bicyclists board of directors and local advocate for safe streets that I’ll be posting later today.
So, if you think that pedestrian and bike safety should be taken more seriously, join us at Carnegie Town Hall on Tuesday at 7 for the public input portion of the City Council meeting. Of course, as always, we’ll be respectful but forthright and honest.
On social media, join and share the event on Facebook. Follow the KSOO and FAB pages, as well as my personal account and through @plalleyshow on Twitter. Email me at Patrick@KSOO.com
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