WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Crossing the street should be a simple task but on 2700 west and 3960 south in West Valley City a particular crosswalk has become a problem.
So Wednesday officers dressed down to see how bad it actually was.
“Our goal here is education” Detective Mike Millett of the West Valley City police department said. “This is an active school crosswalk, we’ve got an elementary over here. That these kids need to safely get to and from school.”
Police marked out the distance for double what it should take to stop in time before the crosswalk.
“We are making sure they are outside or behind that safety zone before they step out” Millett mentioned.
Still, car after car blew through the crosswalk with someone in it This becomes even more concerning since it's a school crosswalk
“Being a school crosswalk with these stripes and it's marked with a sign” Milleit said with Sgt. John Pittman adding “You have to wait until they are completely off of the crosswalk before you can proceed through it.”
Pittman is an 18-year vet of the department knows the danger and said, “Parents of children are very upset sometimes of the lack of people paying attention or even stopping at these crosswalks.”
It was clear many drivers weren’t paying attention.
“I am looking at the people directly and a lot of times their faces aren’t even up,” Sgt Pittman said. “They are down, they are getting a French fry out of the bag, they are staying on their phone”
“In full uniform… they still didn’t stop,” both officers remarked.
In total, 200 cars were counted running the crosswalk with someone in it 125 were stopped for it and 100 were ticketed.
Giving someone a ticket is a small price to pay for the reality of the danger
“Pedestrians don’t fare very well when they get hit by a vehicle they always lose” Pittman said. “That to me is the scariest part because it doesn’t take but just a second for a child to walk out and you not pay attention and it changes everybody’s life.”
Already this year there have been three fatal accidents where a person was hit by a car just in West Valley City.