TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — As kids head back to school, the Unified Police Department is warning people about the importance of pedestrian safety.
They conducted an undercover sting operation Tuesday afternoon in Taylorsville.
Three officers dressed in plain clothes spent the day crossing 2700 West in Taylorsville to see who follows the rules and who doesn't.
According to Sgt. Melody Gray, Unified Police Department, in 2017, Taylorsville City saw 27 auto-pedestrian accidents, 22 of which had injuries and three were deadly.
"Over the last several years there has been an increase in our pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents and we want these things to stop," Gray said.
This year since January, there have already been 17 auto-pedestrian crashes, with 13 involving injuries, but none have been deadly so far.
"We want to stop these fatalities. It's not worth someone’s life," Gray said.
Unified Police hope this sting will wake Utahns up from their summer slumber.
"Getting people back into that routine and watching for those school zones, and remembering it's 20 mph with children’s lives on the line here," Gray said. "We want them to get home safely."
Even if that means teaching them the lesson, the hard way.
Make sure you slow down and look out for people crossing the street.
"Especially when we’re talking about little ones," Gray said. "They don’t always know how to cross the street, really watch for them.
If you're the one doing the crossing, make sure you're extra aware of your surroundings. Detective Kyle Andrew with the Unified Police Department would know, after spending the day crossing the street over and over again.
"You can’t trust the drivers to stop," he said. "You never know if they’re paying attention, looking at their cell phone, what they’re doing. So, as a pedestrian, you need to be very aware."
In all, Unified Police handed out 85 tickets during Tuesday's sting.