West Valley City Police Perform Crosswalk Safety Operation Before School Starts
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – West Valley City Police officers wanted to make a statement about crosswalk safety before the start of the school year.
It was apparent drivers needed the reminder.
Officers dressed in every day clothing attempted to cross the street many times at a variety of crosswalks throughout their city, including 27th West, near 40th South.
They made sure to only enter the later crosswalk when a driver was 260 feet away from it giving the driver time to see them and stop without an issue if they were abiding by the speed limit.
Even when we were interviewing one of the detectives near the crosswalk, there were issues.
“It’s gone how I expected it to do, to go. I’ve been almost hit about a dozen times,” said Detective Darren Mower, who stopped and looked back when he heard the screech of tires and breaks. One of his fellow detectives almost got hit.
Utah law requires approaching vehicles to stop for pedestrians crossing in a marked crosswalk.
For school zone crosswalks, it doesn’t matter where that person is, the coast has to be clear from curb to curb.
At a standard crosswalk, you only have to stop if the pedestrian is on your half of the road, or very close to your half (Link to laws: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title41/Chapter6A/41-6a-S1002.html?v=C41-6a-S1002_1800010118000101)
“You can tell when someone is paying attention and ones that aren’t using their brakes at all to slow down for you, so I’ve almost been hit several times, but I’m paying attention so that hasn’t happened,” said Detective Mower, who says this could have been a much more dire situation if it were kids crossing. Kids aren’t usually paying attention and are trusting drivers to stop.
According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, in 2016, 1,006 Utah pedestrians were hit by motor vehicles.
DPS says different agencies around the state plan on doing similar operations closer to the start of the school year to continue to remind drivers to be safe.
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