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Mercedes Drivers: Stop At The Stop Line, Yield To Pedestrians In Crosswalk

December 17, 2012 Downtown, Featured, Transportation, Walkability 26 Comments

I often think drivers need to be retested to understand basics of the road like you stop behind the stop line or yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. But retesting everyone would be a huge undertaking so based on two experiences at 11th & Washington Ave I say first retest drivers of silver Mercedes cars.

ABOVE: A NB motorist technically ran the light by stopping past the stop line. July 2012
ABOVE: A NB motorist technically ran the light by stopping past the stop line. July 22, 2012 @ 11:08am
ABOVE: He continued NB once he had a green light
ABOVE: He continued NB once he had a green light

As I crossed 11th I had to go around his car, the ADA ramps are located at the right edge of the crosswalk. I gave him a dirty look and rather than put his car in reverse and back up, he smiled, laughed and flipped me off when he got a green light.

Then last week and unbelievable situation, just as I was entering the crosswalk (with the appropriate crosswalk signal) a Mercedes stops in front of me blocking me from crossing 11th. The driver hadn’t seen me because she was looking to the west for a break in traffic so she could turn right onto Washington Ave.

ABOVE: Just as I enter the crosswalk this driver stops in front of me.
ABOVE: Just as I enter the crosswalk this driver stops in front of me. December 13th @ 7:07pm

I began speaking loudly and she looked around and noticed me. Startled she lowered her passenger window and asked if I hit her car. No, I replied but I’d like to cross the street while the walk signal is on. “Cause if you hit my car it’ll be the last time you do!” Seriously, a woman in a  Mercedes just threatened a disabled guy in a wheelchair!

ABOVE: She finally makes her right turn as she yells obscenities at me.
ABOVE: She finally makes her right turn as she yells obscenities at me.

I was furious both times but this last time I was threatened. I was going to call the police but two blocks closer to home I saw two police officers get in their patrol car. I pull up and explain what happened. I show them the pics and one cop says she knows who the woman is, they’ll pay her a visit.

That night I emailed Director of Streets, Todd Waelterman, asking the one spot be changed to a no right turn on red. He’s concerned about traffic flow, I’m concerned about crossing the street safely. In the meantime motorists, especially those of you that drive silver Mercedes: The stop line exists for a reason — you’re supposed to stop at that line or proceed to make a right turn on red when clear. Clear means no traffic but also no pedestrians trying to cross. Got it?

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "26 comments" on this Article:

  1. Makaio says:

    I think a lot of these people with luxury cars think that entitles them to drive the way they want. I have seen this at other intersections as well. They need an attitude adjustment and realize everyone is bound to the same traffic law no matter if you drive a Mercedes or a hooptie.

  2. RyleyinSTL says:

    Can’t say I see any correlation with automobile MSRP and a drivers ability to follow traffic law. Assholes come equally in all shapes and sizes.

    I can say that the issues Steve describes are big problems. As a runner I’m out and about on the cities sidewalks more than your average fat arsed American. I’ve seen it all. Coming to a rolling stop past the stop line is a habitual city wide problem which I feel is perpetuated by the fact that folks in STL don’t stop at stop signs. Just try coming to a complete stop at a stop sign within city limits….the guy behind you (assuming he is born and bred here) will start waving his his hands in the air, get very angry and blow the horn. The Police need to enforce the laws we have, that would go along way to helping solve the problem. Unfortunately the Police are just as frequent offenders as everybody else…..The STL rolling stop is king.

    • You’re correct, the nameplate/price doesn’t matter. It just happened that both of my incidences involved silver Mercedes.

      • Guest says:

        That type of thing got my brother in Chicago a ticket… problem is, you have to have police/traffic cops out there doing it….

      • Eric says:

        Traffic tickets are more affordable if you’re rich, so you are more willing to drive illegally. Some European countries scale the ticket amount according to your income, so if you’re extremely rich you might pay $100,000 for a speeding ticket. I think that’s the right approach.

        • Bryon says:

          Not sure about any $ amount for a warning (certainly for tickets that makes sense, equality under law should fully apply to a % of an individuals own *values*). Warnings for things such as this should have their very own receipt with “DOUCHEBAG WARNING” printed atop them in bold print followed by a brief announcement that “The City of St. Louis is hereby warning you that if you pull anything like you just pulled, within the next 12 months, your name will be publicly announced and listed as being a KNOWN DOUCHEBAG”. Parents use satire because it work, heck even Christ did with Peter: Wanna pay taxes Peter? If so then go back to fishing and pulling coins out of their mouths. Otherwise, stfu 😉

  3. Fozzie says:

    I’d rather have the police focus on car break-ins and other nuisance crimes that are keep people from visiting Forest Park, downtown, and other city neighborhoods.

    • Nick says:

      The nuisance crimes aren’t a safety issue like this is. For all of the discussion regarding urban zoning and walkable infrastructure, I think bad driver behavior is the biggest deterrent to pedestrians. People are AFRAID to walk places because of encounters like what Steve experienced. Traffic enforcement needs to be a priority.

      • stlsig says:

        I’ve lived in the loop, at Hamton & Chippewa, and spent the better part of the last 10 walking Washington at all times of the day and year and I’ve never heard anyone once say “I’m afraid to walk to _______. ” That doesn’t mean this isn’t a real issue that can be resolved in a way that Danielle described above, but creating a false premise for the issue is defeating.

  4. I was in another city on vacation once – I think it was Viginia Beach? – that was doing a big ‘Don’t Block the Box’ campaign to get people to stop before the pedestrian walkways. Handing out big fines for it. Something I’m more aware of now.

  5. bailorg says:

    Perhaps, let’s make more of an effort to distinctively stripe all crosswalks so that motorists know that they are driving into a crosswalk.

    There’s no excuse for what those motorists did, but maybe it will provide an extra inducement to get motorists to stop at the right place.

  6. Matt says:

    As a runner and cyclist I have experienced this in the city and county. Bottom line it is dangerous and illegal. I don’t want to make excuses for the drivers but I truly believe generations of auto based transportation has caused a sense of ignorance. Most issues I have end with an apologetic wave and my hope is next time they’ll know better.

  7. Rupert says:

    It’s usually BMW drivers that are the most douchy. Seriously, the city should paint diagonal stripes inside the crosswalk to distinguish the crosswalk lines from the stop line.

  8. JZ71 says:

    I think that it’s Bill Engvall that said “You can’t fix stupid!” . . . . what we really need is something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVF6zn85Mlc , , , our crosswalks are adequately marked, the problem is that there is no real effort at consistent enforcement, no real, legal consequences for breaking the existing laws (unlike speed enforcement in many of the county’s smaller “cities”). Yes, it IS a safety issue, it’s just not a high priority, so too many drivers, of all kinds of vehicles, continue to be ignorant, arrogant and/or oblivious.

    As for the no right turn on red – if they don’t pay attention to a crosswalk, what makes you think that they’ll pay attention to a sign?! Especially without adding photo enforcement? Which raises an interesting question – how hard would it be to do photo enforcement of crosswalk violations, especially at busier intersections? Video evidence would actually be easier to defend in court and wouldn’t require the appearance of an officer every time someone wanted to “fight it in court” . . . .

  9. moe says:

    Ignorance. And that b+++ch….well all we can do is hope karma comes her way. One day she’ll spout off and a pedestrian will walk around and cold cock her.

  10. Zach Hanna says:

    Just put a redlight camera there.

  11. Sh0rtbus says:

    Here in the County, Red Light Cameras with “Right Turn Enforced” are there for just that reason. To get motorist to come to a complete stop instead of a rolling right turn for pedestrian safety.

  12. Stephen N says:

    I have a silver Mercedes, do you have footage of me doing this? You’re an idiot!

  13. Terence D says:

    As a frequent walker and cyclist I’m seeing issues like this constantly downtown. Why city officers are not ticketing more I have no idea. Not only would it curb these safety issues it seems a surefire way to generate revenue for our constantly budget challenged city.

  14. Sgt Stadanko says:

    looks iike she was talking on her cell phone as well. she also looks like a ‘heavy duty’ and could probably use the exercise. she should get out of her luxury car and slap leather.


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