The Park City Police Department Look To Educate Drivers As Students Return To School
There’s a revised crosswalk law that is already in effect and since school is back in session, the Park City Police Department are out in numbers to protect students and educate drivers. Melissa Allison has more:
The new crosswalk law says all vehicles have to come to a complete stop if there is a pedestrian anywhere in the crosswalk.
Sgt. Jay Randall said the new law leaves no room for misinterpretation.
“So, if they’re anywhere in the crosswalk, even if they’re just have one foot in the crosswalk, it’s a violation of law if you proceed through the crosswalk," Randall said. "If they’re within the two lines that designate it as a crosswalk, you have to wait.”
The officers will focus on the crosswalk at Kearns Blvd, Park City High School, all of the school zones and the crosswalk on Park Ave.
One area of concern is the crosswalks with the red lights that go from solid red, to flashing red.
Randall says he’s heard all kinds of excuses from drivers who get pulled over for not yielding to the light.
“The vast majority say, ‘Hey, well, I didn’t know. I thought, you know if its solid red, that means.’" Randall said. "I said, ‘Well, unfortunatlely, anyehwere in the state, actually pretty much the country, if its red, you have to come to a stop first and then you might proceed if its flashing. Otherwise if it’s a solid red, you have to stop.”
But it’s not just crosswalks the officers are monitoring.
“If we see it, that’s kind of what we’re doing," Randall said. "We’re going to look at, not just the crosswalk, but speeds and pedestrian right-of-way’s and everything else that incorporates safety in those areas.”
Park City has some unique conditions.
“We have two main thoroughfares that come in and unfortunately, all three of our schools are on the same one thoroughfare and so we have a heavier traffic, also fewer lanes and also fewer crosswalks than a lot of, you know, other jurisdictions that might be a lot bigger than us," Randall said. "We also have a lot of visitor traffic that might not be either familiar with Utah law or even international law, they might be from other countries and not understand. So, you can see how Kearns piles up, the beginning of school in load-in, and then after school in load-out. It becomes so congested I think people get a little bit ancy, frustrated and in doing so jeopardizes the safety of others.”
Randall said simply leaving for work earlier can go a long way when it comes to safety for you and those around you.
Though the program is scheduled to go to September 22, Randall said they’re not going to back off until they see things improve for both the pedestrians and the drivers.
I’m Melissa Allison, KPCW News.