SAN ANTONIO – Driver be warned: Get caught “blocking the box” and it could cost you cold hard cash.
One day after enforcement began at 10 intersections across the city, San Antonio police Officer Ben Maciel said he’d written a dozen citations.
"Quite a few of them are surprised,” Maciel said. “There's been a couple of them that were a little argumentative, but once you explain it to them in the sense of why we're out here, then they understand."
Joe Alejandro is one of the drivers who that learned of the new enforcement effort the hard way.
"I knew you had to stop and let the car pass, but I did not know you had to be before the white line," he said."I know they are doing their job but I had no idea that was a law."
For “blocking” at the intersection of West Avenue and Silver Sands Drive, Alejandro’s troubles got him a ticket for $202.
There are 10 intersections around the city with "don't block the box” signage. They serve as a reminder to drivers to not block the roadway preventing other people driving, walking, or biking from being able to cross the road.
Listed below are the intersections:
- District 1: Euclid Avenue at San Pedro Ave.
- District 2: Houston Street at W.W. White Road
- District 3: Logwood at S.W. Military Drive
- District 4: Springvale Drive at Valley-Hi Drive
- District 5: Commerce Street at Zarzamora Street
- District 6: Culebra Road at Westwood Loop
- District 7: Fredericksburg Road at Woodlake Drive
- District 8: Huebner Road at Fredericksburg Road
- District 9: Silver Sands Drive at West Avenue
- District 10: Bulverde Road at Autry Pond and Classen Road
The city installed the signs in late January at a cost of $12,000.
The pilot project is part of San Antonio’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries.
The increased enforcement will last through the month of May.
Police wouldn't say the number of officers they are dedicating to the monthlong program. The department did say it would rotate intersections, looking for drivers not stopping where they should.
Maciel said he does not look at the program as a way to punish drivers, but help prevent avoidable accidents. “In turn he (the driver) may educate other persons, and of course when they go into that intersection they might see the sign as well."
In June, the city will set up cameras at the 10 intersections to record more data.
Art Reinhardt, assistant director of Transportation and Capital Improvements, said they will then decide if it's worth the $1,000,000 plus it would cost to place the signs citywide.
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