Unfortunately, I think it would. I say “unfortunately” because I’d prefer if people were obeying the law for some reason other than fear of getting a ticket. I try to provide cyclists with such a reason in posts like this, and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it.
However, there will always be people for whom such arguments will just never work. That’s where enforcement has to come in.
If you want proof of the effectiveness of this approach, just compare Boston pedestrians to those in California, where jaywalking is strictly enforced. When I was in San Francisco this winter, I was shocked by the pedestrians’ absolute obedience to “Don’t Walk” signs.
At first, I just chalked it up to people not having anyplace to be (lousy hippies!). Even during my short visit, I got the distinct impression that everyone in Boston is in much more of a rush than our laid back counterparts in ‘Frisco.
However, when I mentioned my theory to a native, she was quick to explain that people are just afraid of getting a ticket. At over $100 per infraction, I’m not surprised. As much as I hate to say it, strict enforcement works.