Phoenix police launch pedestrian education program

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by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 19 at 11:54 AM

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Police Department wants to make it safer for you to cross the street. On Monday, the department launched its new "Corner 2 Corner" Pedestrian Education and Enforcement Program.

Police say collisions involving pedestrians happen too frequently in our community. "We encounter 500 traffic collisions involving pedestrians every year," says Lieutenant Matt Giordano of the Traffic Education and Safety Bureau. "300 of those incur some type of injury to the pedestrian, and about 40 of those involved fatal injuries to the pedestrians."

Many times the collisions occur when pedestrians cross mid-block. "Stop crossing mid-block," Giordano emphasizes. "Mid-block crossings are unsafe. We're asking people to walk that extra few feet, that extra hundred yards, to the crosswalk."

At other times,collisions occur when pedestrians disregard safety around bus stops and the light rail. But a crash can happen when motorists fail to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks.

The "Corner 2 Corner" Pedestrian Education and Enforcement Program is a three week program. The effort will begin with a week of education for pedestrians and motorists, then will be followed with two weeks of enforcement efforts.

"We really believe educating drivers and pedestrians will help solve this problem," says Giordano. "Unfortunately, if that first week of education doesn't seem to be working, we're going to go into two weeks of enforcement, officers on motorcycles and in vehicles, and talking to people who are in violation of the law, and issuing them citations."

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