The New Ulm Police Department, along with the Minnesota State Patrol and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office conducted their “Stop for Me” pedestrian safety enforcement campaign on Monday afternoon. Police observed volunteer pedestrians cross Center Street and watched for any traffic violations. Volunteer pedestrian George Glotzbach was surprised that anyone was pulled over. Glotzbach said he would have thought the amount of signage, police officers and squad cars would have alerted drivers of what was happening, and drivers still did not yield to pedestrians.
In less than two hours, law enforcement pulled over 31 vehicles for traffic violations. New Ulm Police Chief Dave Borchert was pleased with the way the event turned out. Borchert said the department plans on holding another pedestrian safety event in the fall when school starts and a similar campaign this summer to watch for distracted drivers. Law enforcement talked about running this at different locations and times in the future.
Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths said that pedestrians can ensure their safety by:
- Crossing at a corner, marked crosswalk, or where a traffic light is present.
- Pay attention and make eye contact with drivers.
- Never cross the middle of the road or walk down an interstate.
- Be visible, wear bright or refelective clothing and bring a flashlight.
- If no sidewalk or path is available, walk on a shoulder, facing traffic.
- Never assume a driver sees you.
- Treat every corner as a crosswalk and stop for stopping pedestrians at all corners and crosswalks whether marked or unmarked.
- Drive at safe speeds and be alert for pedestrians
- Pay attention and drive distraction-free
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk
- Look for pedestrians everywhere
- Follow the posted speed limit.
During the time officers were positioned on Center Street for the campaign, a pedestrian was struck in the parking lot at the New Ulm Medical Center. The extent of the victim’s injuries is unknown.