Henderson police to target drivers and pedestrians disobeying crosswalk laws

Henderson Police Department is launching a three-week enforcement campaign Wednesday targeting drivers and pedestrians not obeying crosswalk laws.

City traffic officers will be looking for drivers not paying attention to pedestrians in crosswalks and pedestrians not crossing streets safely or legally.

The targeted enforcement will run until May 13 and will involve officers from other area police departments as part of the Joining Forces program.

Using saturation patrols, police will target intersections with clearly marked crosswalks. Every intersection where two streets meet is a legal crosswalk whether or not it is marked.

State law requires drivers to always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, stop well back from a crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop, too. Don’t pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk, and remain stopped until pedestrians have crossed all the lanes in the direction you are traveling, or they reach the median.

Pedestrians are advised to walk on a sidewalk or path as far from traffic as possible. Put away electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road, such as cell phones and music players. Never assume a driver sees you and be cautious when crossing driveways or outlets where drivers must look away from you to merge with traffic.

Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections where two streets meet. This is where drivers expect pedestrians, and it’s the only lawful spot to cross. Also don’t walk impaired. About one third of pedestrians killed by vehicles are legally drunk.

Henderson had one pedestrian death last year, while the total in Clark County rose to 51 fatalities last year from 43 in 2012. Seventy-one died statewide in 2013.

Nationwide, 4,432 pedestrians died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2011, accounting for about 14 percent of the total number of traffic fatalities for the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Henderson police received $188,000 federal grant to help fund their part of the Joining Forces program. The grant provides funding for enforcement and education to reduce deaths and injuries on Nevada roadways. Enforcement efforts during the year will focus on pedestrian safety, seat belt use, speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving.

Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at aknightly@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3882. Follow on Twitter @KnightlyGrind