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Undercover operation reminds drivers to yield to pedestrians

Undercover operation reminds drivers to yield to pedestrians

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Alex Cabrero reportingWith Spring here, more people are heading outside to walk, run and bike, but in one Northern Utah city, police are noticing that's getting dangerous, so they set up an undercover operation to warn drivers to be on the lookout.

If you, as a driver, come upon a crosswalk and see someone entering it, you have to stop before the intersection. Most people know this law, but Logan police were surprised today by how many people didn't follow it.

Almost every day, Logan Police Sgt. Louise Speth jogs through Logan; and almost every time she comes to a crosswalk, she knows a driver might not see her. "The pedestrian is going to lose that battle every single time," she said. So she always waits to make sure the driver slows down, then she makes eye contact with them before crossing. "The drivers need to be cognizant that pedestrians are out there, and they have to yield to them."

Today Speth wasn't walking for pleasure, it was all business. Along with her partner, she was part of an undercover operation designed to make drivers aware of crosswalk rules.

"It was impressive to us to see the number of vehicles that failed to yield, that didn't even slow down, or change lanes and drive around them, it's pretty scary," one officer told us.

Here's how the operation worked: Speth and her partner crossed before the vehicle would come to an orange cone, more than 100 feet away, for safety. If a driver didn't yield to them, a police spotter watching the scene would radio to other officers a block away. Those officers would then pull over the driver and explain the law. Some drivers even got tickets.

"Just in the last year, a man was killed crossing the street, and it was, you know, right in the middle of the day," Speth told us.

"This is a lose-lose situation. If you're ever involved in an auto-pedestrian accident, obviously the pedestrian's going to suffer the injuries, but the unfortunate driver of that vehicle's gonna suffer, you know, life-long consequences of living with the outcome of that tragedy," an officer said.

Logan police ended up pulling over dozens of drivers. At one point, officers pulling over drivers were so busy, they had to pause the operation for a few minutes. They plan on continuing this operation into the summer.


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