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Crosswalk safety — be aware, slow down!

Article Published 10/02/2008

A recent grant from the state of Utah has been instrumental in assisting Layton City Police officers to educate the public and inform residents of the real risks of auto-pedestrian accidents within the City.

As part of the effort, 205 drivers were stopped for failing to yield in five crosswalk-safety enforced zones.

Last year alone, Layton Police responded to 21 automobile vs. pedestrian accidents. In an effort to help curb this problem, the Department obtained a grant from the Utah Highway Safety Office that provided funding for enforcement and education operations at crosswalks throughout the City. Several of the selected crosswalks are also utilized as school crosswalks when in session.

To date, operations have been conducted at five different locations:

• Main Street and Angel
• Antelope and 591 West
• Gordon and Valeria
• Gordon and Hill Boulevard
• Gentile and Colonial

Enforcement operations at these crosswalks utilized a combination of plainclothes police officers and marked police vehicles with uniformed officers. The plainclothes officers served as the pedestrians utilizing the crosswalk.

As they attempted to move through the marked crosswalk, motorists failing to yield to them were identified by a spotter. The drivers were then stopped by a uniformed officer in accordance with Utah Traffic Code 41-6a-1002 which states:

"the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way by slowing down or stopping if necessary: to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling; or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger."

In these five locations, a combined total of 205 vehicles were stopped for failing to yield to pedestrians. These operations are expected to have a positive influence in reducing the number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities at crosswalks, especially as children have returned to school.

During the month of September, Safe Kids of Davis County and the Davis County Health Department sponsored Green Ribbon Month in order to promote the awareness and safety of children at crosswalks.

It is the hope of Layton Police Department that all motorists will please slow down and look for pedestrians utilizing the crosswalks.