CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Extra patrols expected this week to step up pedestrian safety

Aug 28, 2023, 5:30 AM | Updated: 6:45 am

SALT LAKE CITY -- There are still openings for crossing guards across the state and back to school ...

Crossing guard Heather Childs helps students cross the street near Hawthorn Academy and Westvale Elementary School in West Jordan on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns may see more police patrols in their neighborhoods this week. As back-to-school season amps up, law enforcement will monitor pedestrian safety.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Brian Peterson said there will be 276 extra shifts. These shifts will be worked by 17 law enforcement agencies around the state.

Peterson told KSL NewsRadio so far this year, there have been 173 fatalities on Utah’s roads. 25 of these accidents involve pedestrians or bicyclists. He said all those pedestrian accidents are preventable and safety needs to be a big priority.

“Pedestrian fatalities typically increase through the Fall season, because mainly we start to see dark earlier in the day when people are traveling home,” Peterson said.

He also advised both pedestrians and drivers to be on the lookout for one another. Additionally, he said pedestrians should take an extra few seconds to check and double check for oncoming traffic.

“Always look for cars in every single direction. Be visible, do all you can to make sure all drivers can see you,” Peterson said. “Do not cross at an intersection diagonally unless it’s specifically designed for this. And tips for drivers, look for pedestrians and expect them to be at corners and intersections.”

Peterson said 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, and in the presence of a crossing guard, vehicles must wait for all persons, including the guard, to completely clear the road before proceeding. Peterson says as always, do not drive distracted or impaired.

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Extra patrols expected this week to step up pedestrian safety