Ten motorists will pay a hefty fine for failing to stop for pedestrians attempting to cross the street Wednesday morning in downtown Astoria.

Each received a $237 ticket from Astoria police, said Sgt. Brian Aydt, who organized the pedestrian safety enforcement project. He said police stopped 32 cars during the three-hour focused enforcement on Marine Drive and Commercial Street at 15th Street. In addition to the 10 citations, five warnings were issued, and there were four seatbelt violations.

"People need to be watching for pedestrians and adhere to the law," Aydt said, adding that the law has recently changed somewhat. For example, on a two-lane street, motorists are required to wait until a pedestrian has made it all the way to the other side before proceeding. But on a four-lane street, motorists can proceed when the pedestrian has reached the farthest lane on the other side of the street.

Aydt said the purpose of the project is to raise awareness of pedestrian safety issues and reduce the number of auto vs. pedestrian accidents in Astoria. Several more pedestrian safety enforcements will be held during the summer and early fall. The projects are paid for by a $1,300 grant from the state Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

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