Couple caught on camera running across I-35

Austin Police said the number of fatal car crashes are down compared to last year, but the number of pedestrians getting hit are up.

FOX 7's TXDot camera caught a couple trying to cross a major interstate on Monday. It was during rush hour around 51st street.

"You're playing Frogger with your life trying to cross 35 like that," says Lt. Blake Johnson, referring to the popular 80's arcade game. Johnson is with the Austin Police Department's Highway enforcement. 

"It's not accessible, easily accessible for a pedestrian. Someone has to go out of their way to get up there and on the property to cross all of those lanes of traffic," he adds. "Once somebody's done it, you can assume they've done it once, they've done it twice, a level the complacency sets in. But it only takes one time."

To be deadly. APD says a man walked onto I-35 early Sunday morning. He tried to cross when a car hit and struck him.

"While they did nothing criminally wrong," Johnson says of the driver, "it's still, you can assume it will linger with that person for a while. The thought that they were in a crash that resulted in someone's life being lost."

Sunday morning's was the 22nd fatal car crash in 2016, and the 9th time a pedestrian was killed.

"Upwards of 90% of them," Johnson says, "the pedestrian was in a prohibited area. Meaning the pedestrian was crossing against the light, on a high speed roadway, was not on a protected pedestrian area."

Like the couple who fortunately did make it to the other side of I-35. Lieutenant Johnson hopes they won't try their luck again. "It's frustrating, it's senseless."

It is also illegal. Fox 7 asked TXDot if they turned the video of the couple over to Austin Police, but they did not respond.

Austin police say they are working on making it harder for people to loiter on roads and curbs near high speed roadways like I-35. They hope their recommendations will eventually make their way to the City Council for a stricter ordinance.

 

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