Dozens of drivers in Fort Lee, New Jersey, were ticketed on Halloween for failing to yield at a crosswalk to a 6-foot-8-inch Donald Duck. Go ahead, read that sentence again.
The police department saw the holiday as a perfect opportunity to deploy its decoy program, and dressed an officer as the Disney character to ensure motorists are stopping for pedestrians. By day’s end, WABC-TV reports, 130 drivers received tickets of $230, plus two points on their licenses.
However, one motorist insists the Duckburg-style sting wasn’t fair, and pledges to fight her ticket.
“This duck kept going to the curb, off the curb,” Karen Haigh told the TV station. “I thought it was a crazy guy on Halloween. […] “They told me that I was getting a ticket for not stopping for a duck. But it scared me. I’m a woman. This huge duck scared me.”
In fairness to Haigh, we’ve seen what beloved children’s characters can do to a motorist when they’ve been riled (granted, notorious trouble-maker Mickey was involved in that incident, not Donald).
But Fort Lee Police Chief Keith Bendul argues the department’s “Pedestrians in the Crosswalk” program works, reducing the number of people struck by cars.
“When you see a pedestrian, whether it’s a young child, whether it’s an adult — even if it’s a 7-foot duck — stop,” he tells WABC, “let the pedestrian cross safely, and then proceed with your day.”
And really, that’s the takeaway here: Always stop for a 7-foot duck.
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