SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake police are stepping up crosswalk enforcement this week. The department received a $15,000 grant from the Utah Highway Safety Office for the extra patrols.
“Last year, we had 134 pedestrian-auto related incidents in the city. That’s one every three days,” Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking said.
There have been several auto-pedestrian incidents across the Salt Lake Valley in the last few weeks, including two on Wednesday.
Thursday afternoon, officers on motorcycles kept watch near a TRAX station at 420 South Main Street. Wilking said people often look for any opportunity to cross the street after getting off the train.
“We see a lot of people get off and immediately cross the street and cars are not expecting them to be there. It’s dangerous for them,” he said.
Officers rode up to pedestrians they saw crossing against the light or mid-way up the block and talked with them about their efforts. In the vast majority of cases, the pedestrians were let off with a warning. Wilking said they stopped more than 260 people and only gave out 16 citations.
“We’re not looking to cite people. We’re just really looking to have that conversation, make them aware,” he said.
Salt Lake police said last year, they had 134 auto-pedestrian incidents. They're certainly hoping to bring that number down this year.