Motorist who drove through Aspen crosswalk found guilty
A man ticketed for failing to yield to pedestrians in an Aspen crosswalk was ordered Wednesday to pay a fine and have points assessed to his driver’s license – or go to traffic school to avoid those penalties.
Dmitri Constantin, who lives near Redstone, indicated to Municipal Judge Brooke Peterson that he will take the class.
Constantin was ticketed in late February by Aspen Police Officer Jeremiah Tipton, who told the judge that he saw Constantin drive through a marked crosswalk at the intersection of First and Main streets, while pedestrians were trying to cross Main.
Tipton said two other vehicles, a Roaring Fork Transit Agency bus in the eastbound, curbside lane next to Constantin, and a westbound vehicle on Main Street, had both stopped to let two pedestrians cross.
Tipton said he was in his squad car, stopped on First Street and preparing to turn left into the westbound lanes of Main Street. He said he had his rooftop lights on to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians, when Constantin went by in the inside lane on Main. Tipton chased Constantin down and gave him a ticket.
But Constantin maintained that his view of things was obscured by the bus and by dirt on the streets, preventing him from seeing either the pedestrians or the painted lines of the crosswalk. He said he was also “distracted” by Tipton’s rooftop lights until it was too late to stop.
The judge, however, noted the Constantin has been living in the Aspen area for three decades off and on and ought to have realized that under state law he has “a duty to be on guard for pedestrians” at all times when he is driving.
Constantin was found guilty of failure to yield to a pedestrian, ordered to pay a $50 fine and be assessed four points against his license. The only way to avoid those penalties, Judge Peterson said, is for Constantin to enroll in traffic school classes.
Constantin maintained that his view of things was obscured by the bus and by dirt on the streets, preventing him from seeing either the pedestrians or the painted lines of the crosswalk.
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