Military Police watch over Yongsan crosswalks 24-7
A life-size photo stands vigil over Garrison crosswalks.

<strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - Yongsan drivers may have noticed Military Police vigilantly standing watch over pedestrian crosswalks across the Garrison 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or, at least their life-size photos do.

Sgt. Crystal Arratia is one of those MPs. Though her position is now in the 149th Military Police Battalion administrative section, her photo helps to enforce traffic safety holding a speed limit sign at one of Yongsan Garrison's busiest intersections near the Commissary Gate (Gate No. 52).

"The MP silhouettes have been placed at all major intersections on post," said USAG-Yongsan Emergency Services Director Ricky Oxendine. "People seem to have a stronger reaction to a face than a stand alone sign."

When pedestrians are present near crosswalks, drivers must strictly observe a 5 mph or 8 kph speed limit. During school hours, the school zone speed limit is 16 mph or 25 kph.

"When a driver gets caught speeding on post, points come off that person's driver's license," Arratia said. "If it happens too many times, you can't drive at all. That information also gets forwarded to their commands."

The new MP signs have been slowing traffic for about a month now and feature MPs currently working here. They replaced signs of MPs wearing the old battle dress uniform.

Arratia said that when she transfers to her next duty station, a part of her would "forever" be helping to keep Yongsan streets safe (or at least until the Army changes uniforms again).

Page last updated Wed October 22nd, 2008 at 17:15