For the next month, police officers -- who are stepping up their enforcement of traffic safety -- plan to hit motorists with all the tricks in the pedestrian safety playbook.
"It’s going to be marked units, unmarked units, we’re even going to do some sting operations where we have somebody crossing the street to see if vehicles will stop," said Lt. Derek Bastinck, who is spearheading the pedestrian safety initiative that started last week and will run through September.
Since focusing their enforcement efforts one week ago, have already written 23 moving violations and made about three times that number of motor vehicle stops, Bastinck said.
Cops are focusing both on drivers on their cell phones and drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, as well as pedestrians who cross against the signal or in the middle of the street rather than at a nearby crosswalk.
In some cases, police will even use a spotter to stand on a street corner and radio over seatbelt and cell phone violations to police cars waiting further down the road.
As always, it will be up to an officer's discretion whether a violation is ticket-worthy, but Bastinck advised that motorists and pedestrians exercise additional caution for the next month.
"Officers are going to be a little more stern about violations in the crosswalks during this enforcement period," he said.
Officers that are focusing on traffic safety this month are typically out assisting patrol units with other calls, Bastinck said.
"We have what we call directed patrol," he explained. "An officer on directed patrol is not always given a specific assignment, but this month our specific focus is going to be pedestrian safety."
In addition to focusing on traffic safety, directed officers will continue high visibility patrols of busy areas in town including , , both and the River Road and Radburn business districts.