SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Law enforcement agencies throughout the state are increasing their enforcement near high-pedestrian-traffic areas, including school zones and routes, ahead of the start of the 2023-24 school year, according to the Utah Dept. of Public Safety.

Starting today, Aug. 25, through Sept. 1, multiple Utah law enforcement agencies, 17 to be exact, will be working nearly 300 extra shifts statewide to promote pedestrian safety.

Officials said officers will be “strategically positioned” in the high-traffic areas, reminding drivers to share the road, follow traffic laws, and look out for pedestrians. These areas will reportedly be especially busy during drop-off and pick-up times.

Authorities are urging both drivers and pedestrians to recognize that both parties are responsible for looking out for each other and helping each other stay safe.

“We recognize the importance of pedestrian safety, especially during the back-to-school season,” said Amy Winkler, Vulnerable Roadway Users Program Manager at the Utah Highway Safety Office. “Pedestrians are some of our most vulnerable roadway users, and because we all share the road, we must look out for each other. We want to make sure our students, parents, and community members get to their destination safely.”

This year in Utah alone, there have reportedly been 173 fatalities on our roads, 25 of which were pedestrians or bicyclists. “That is 25 too many,” DPS officials stated.

Pedestrian fatalities typically increase during the fall season but are “100 percent preventable” when drivers and pedestrians prioritize safety, the release states.

Here are some safety tips for both pedestrians and drivers ahead of the fall season:


  • When crossing the street, make eye contact with drivers.
  • Distracted walking is just as dangerous as distracted driving — pay attention.
  • Never assume right of way – Always look for cars in all directions.
  • Be visible — do everything you can to make sure drivers see you.
  • Do not cross an intersection diagonally unless it is specifically designed for this.


  • Look for pedestrians and expect them to be at corners and intersections.
  • Never pass a car that has stopped in a travel lane until it is determined whether that vehicle has stopped for a pedestrian.
  • Be alert and make eye contact with pedestrians.
  • In the presence of a crossing guard, vehicles must wait for all persons, including the guard, to completely clear the road before proceeding.
  • DO NOT drive distracted or impaired.

To help your child find the safest route to school, visit the Safe Routes Utah website here.