WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Police around the state are stepping up crosswalk enforcement with new rules in place and the school year getting underway. When we put crosswalks to the test several cars still didn’t stop including one police cruiser.
For weeks officers in West Valley City have been stepping up enforcement in various locations. Detective Mike Millett said clarification to the laws have made clear where drivers need to stop and for how long.
“Either you have a school crosswalk where you have to yield from curb to curb the whole crosswalk,” said Det. Millett, “or a non-school crosswalk where you have to yield half of the road.”
Police have been giving out several warnings but also citations when necessary.
Tuesday evening we went to a school crosswalk along 2700 West during evening rush hour to see if people are changing their habits. For the first several passes things didn’t seem to change as several cars didn’t stop.
One of the vehicles that didn’t stop was a West Valley City police cruiser. The department responded in a statement which said in part. “We recognize that education in this area is critical and apparently, that’s the case even for one of our own.” It went on to say, “This particular officer’s supervisor is also being notified….and any discipline that’s warranted will be carried out.”
One of the things we noticed during our story was that several cars that didn’t stop had drivers who were using their cellphones. Police said it’s been a growing issue.
“The distractions are the biggest things,” said Det. Millett. “People are unfortunately are starting work before they get to work. Their mind is on a million different things other than driving down the road.”
As we continued to test the crosswalk we noticed more cars stopping. Det. Millett said that during their enforcement Tuesday more vehicles were properly stopping, but he said there’s still a long way to go.
“We noticed there were people who were waiting the whole time, and they must have seen it because they were right up there ready to go, and they waited that whole time which was great,” said Det. Millett.
Enforcement around the state is expected to stay high throughout the beginning of the school year thanks to grants to pay for more officers to be at crosswalks.