Whether consciously or not, many of us have done it – blown a stop sign. But it has become downright dangerous at a busy corner in East Hartford. Neighbors called Channel 3 Eyewitness News about the problem, and now more than two months later we followed up to see if our story has made a difference.
"I just wish they would take a minute to stop," resident Suzanne Lazeren said.
At first glance you may not think the corner of Terrace Avenue and Mary Street in East Hartford is a trouble intersection. It's a dead end and a one-way street. But Lazeren, who lives on the corner, said no one stops at the posted stop sign and it's becoming a problem.
"People walk up the street and kids after school, and they're coming around the corner," she said. "It's very dangerous."
Neighbors said cars come speeding through all the time by using Mary Street as a cut-through to avoid a light on busy Burnside Avenue.
Eyewitness News saw the problems first hand. In August Channel 3 Eyewitness News went to the intersection because of an accident that destroyed a woman's fence.
It turns out, the cause of the crash was an unlicensed driver who didn't even have a learner's permit.
But that's not even what blew us away.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News cameras caught car after car cruising through the intersection and ignoring the stop sign.
So after our story aired, WFSB reached out to East Hartford police to find out what the department was doing about the problem.
Eyewitness News learned that in the three years before our story, East Hartford police wrote 34 tickets at the intersection, with only five of those for blowing the stop sign.
Then in the month after our story aired the number of tickets shot up to 25 with 14 issued for stop sign violations.
"There have been issues with people driving through the stop sign there and we went up and we addressed that issue," East Hartford Police Sgt. Michael DeMaine said.
Now neighbors said people patrol the area regularly.
"After the story, they were here every day," Lazeren said.
There have been other changes, too. Since the story aired a new, larger stop sign was installed so drivers can't miss it.
Not all of the cars come to a complete stop, but neighbors said it's a huge improvement.
"At least it's shiner than the last one was," Willard Graffam said.
Police said they plan on continuing to write tickets to try and keep the intersection from becoming deadly.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:48 AM EDT2014-08-27 06:48:05 GMT
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