SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Every year in Utah, approximately 30 pedestrians are hit and killed by drivers, and another 785 pedestrians are injured, according to the Utah Highway Safety Office.
Last week, a Sandy mother and her two children were hit by a vehicle — and fortunately, they will be OK.
The safety office reports the number of auto-pedestrian accidents are increasing for the seventh year in a row.
As part of a pedestrian crosswalk blitz, two South Jordan police officers dressed in street clothes crossing at 10200 S. Jordan Gateway and 115000 S. 4000 W. between the hours of 7 a.m. and 12 p.m.
The reason officers chose these crosswalk zones is because of violation reports from the public.
In the five-hour span officers were out, watching as drivers improperly yielded to pedestrians, South Jordan’s Sgt. Sam Winkler said there were roughly 50 violation stops, with nearly half receiving a ticket.
Winkler said a lot of motorists who were pulled over say they didn’t know the rules.
“The rule for cars is if you see a pedestrian in the roadway, you can’t go through the crosswalk while they’re on your half of the roadway or approaching your half of the roadway,” Winkler said. “They have to be completely cleared.”
South Jordan officer Colton Weeks was one of the officers dressed as a pedestrian. He said even paying attention to his surroundings, a lot of people don’t know the law so they start to drive, or they don’t see a pedestrian because the driver has a yield turn signal.
“It’s been a little scary, not gonna lie,” Weeks said.
As a reminder to the public:
“If you’re not sure what to do when a pedestrian is in the roadway, you’re not going to be faulted for stopping longer than you should have,” Winkler said.
Winkler said while the number of auto-pedestrian crashes is few in the South Jordan area, he said drivers need to know the law, because one day, they could cause an accident.
“One person getting hit by a car is way too much,” Winkler said. “Especially when a lot of ours involve children.”
Winkler also said he and his officers don’t like to write tickets or take action, however, there is a problem and they need to address it.
South Jordan Police Department is taking part in statewide enforcement, making sure drivers are obeying a variety of traffic laws. The blitz will go on until the end of November.
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