Spokane Police launch pedestrian safety emphasis patrols - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Police launch pedestrian safety emphasis patrols

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

As the weather warms up and summer approaches more people are out and about walking around. Mingled amongst the passersby at the busy intersection were undercover officers ready to pounce in the name of safety "We're focusing on looking for vehicles who aren't yielding to pedestrians crossing the street," said Spokane Police Traffic Sergeant John Griffin.

Washington law states that once a pedestrian steps into any intersection - so long as they're not crossing against directional signals like a 'do not walk' sign - drivers must give them the right of way. But just the act of walking into the street can put your life at risk in our region.

Washington Department of Transportation data shows that in the last three years from 2015-2018 there have been 618 accidents involving pedestrians which resulted in 24 deaths in Spokane County.

Police say some of the drivers they stopped today were oblivious to their surroundings "A lot of people aren't even aware that the pedestrians out there or they are not aware that when the pedestrian within one lane of the other half of the roadway they're required to stop as well."

Sergeant Griffin also has a critical reminder for those who jay-walk and risk their safety " We would like you to cross at the intersection so that drivers are aware that that's what you are intending to do."

During the patrols, there were 75 traffic stops. Officers gave out 28 tickets to drivers who didn't stop for pedestrians. There were also 18 cell phone violations written during the patrols.

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