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Watch out for those walkers


Officer Shawn Sackett poses as a casual pedestrian. Rick Sherman, Sun Advocate Reporter

By Rick Sherman
Sun Advocate Reporter

The Price Police Department has launched a campaign to raise public awareness of pedestrian rights and safety. It has already elevated the consciousness of at least a dozen drivers cited during a decoy operation Wednesday afternoon.
City Council Member Kathy Hanna-Smith suggested the action. She said she has observed blatant disrespect for pedestrians by drivers with numerous near misses, and has even been struck and injured by a vehicle herself.
Officers huddled up at the Price PD for a briefing by Captain Bill Barnes on the operation strategy. The briefing also included a review of Utah statutes regarding pedestrians on roads and sidewalks, and on “jaywalking.”
The law says operators of vehicles must yield the right-of-way by slowing down or stopping if necessary, for 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.
Pedestrians also have a duty under the law. A pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. A pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway. Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, such as Main Street and 100 North, a pedestrian may not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
Following the briefing, teams of patrol officers, with the media and Councilwoman Hanna-Smith riding along, dispersed to intersections around town where crosswalks are located. One officer watched from a patrol car out of sight of passing motorists, while an officer in plain clothes crossed the street at the crosswalks.
During the two-hour operation, more than a dozen drivers were cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian. Among other violations, drivers were also cited or warned for failure to use child safety seats, faulty equipment, and speeding.
Police are planning additional operations and urge drivers to keep pedestrian safety in mind.
It’s the right thing to do, and you never know when a police officer is watching.

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