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Provo officers stage sting to remind drivers about crosswalk laws

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - Aug. 23, 2011 at 10:18 p.m.

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PROVO — Students are back in school crosswalks, and that's why Provo police carried out a crosswalk undercover operation Tuesday morning. Rather than passing out tickets, the officers wanted to help educate drivers about the laws.

In this crazy economic environment, Kim Backus, who works at Chase Bank at 310 N. University Avenue in Provo, knows she has to pay attention to the numbers. But it's the craziness outside her office that gets her attention almost every day.

"We actually see screeches all the time. We turn around and we're like, ‘What just happened?'" Backus said.

Her intersection seems to be a hotspot for accidents. There's a pedestrian crosswalk, but many drivers just don't pay attention to it.

"We have actually seen accidents over and over and over again," Backus said.

So, Provo police went undercover. They walked back and forth across the crosswalk to see what it's really like. Sure enough, they had some close calls.

"It's a big problem, not just in Provo, but across the state as well," said Provo Police Sgt. Matt Siufanua.

The officers didn't just jump in front of a car, they waited until cars were behind orange cones set up to mark the distance where drivers have time to stop. When one didn't, other officers would go after them.

With school starting again, and more children walking the streets, officers don't want to see anyone get hurt.

"We really want to send the message to people and educate them to just slow down. When you come to a crosswalk, be prepared to stop for somebody," Siufanua said.

Twenty drivers were pulled over Tuesday morning in about an hour and a half, but it certainly could've been more. So many drivers didn't follow the law, there weren't enough officers to pull them all over.

It's just proof we all need to be a little more careful.



Alex Cabrero


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