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Metro adds pedestrian safety focus to OT plan

Las Vegas police will work overtime in the next month to combat the climbing number of pedestrian fatalities in the valley, the department announced Friday.

The number of pedestrians killed in vehicle crashes increased steadily each year from 2011 to 2013, according to Metro.

Forty-three pedestrians died on Nevada roadways in 2011, 59 died in 2012 and 70 died in 2013, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation. Six pedestrians have died in Clark County so far this year.

The department will target several intersections and crosswalks on Feb. 6, 9, 23 and 27 in a “pedestrian decoy” operation where a plain clothes officer will act as a pedestrian in a crosswalk and will stop drivers who fail to yield the right of way. Similar operations have been successful in heightening public awareness and educating drivers of pedestrian safety laws, the release said.

During the third week of February, there will be several directed patrol activities which will focus on distracted drivers. A squad of officers will be proactively looking for people using their cell phones while driving.

These extra patrol and enforcement events, which aim to reach Metro’s “Zero Fatalities” goal, are funded through state and federal funds and are administered by Nevada’s Office of Traffic Safety, the release said. It’s part of “Joining Forces,” a $1.5 million federally funded, multi-agency campaign focused on reducing impaired driving, speeding and cell phone usage while enforcing seat belt usage and pedestrian safety laws.

For more information visit www.ZeroFatalitiesNV.com/pedestrian or www.LVMPD.com

Another piece of Joining Forces will be a DUI checkpoint between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday near the intersection of Blue Diamond Road and Decatur Boulevard.

Contact Kimber Laux at klaux@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Find her on Twitter: @lauxkimber.

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