Denver Police to conduct ‘sidewalk stings,’ making crosswalks safer for pedestrians

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DENVER -- Police will be cracking down on drivers who won’t yield the right of way to pedestrians, especially at high volume intersections. “This is just one of the tools that we are utilizing in order to get a handle on these crashes,” Denver Police Department Traffic Sergeant Jeff Kolts said.

Denver police are calling them crashes and not accidents, because unlike an accident, someone is almost always at fault. And usually, it’s the driver.

“The driver is making a left turn, they’re trying to beat the traffic, they’re looking at traffic coming at them and not necessarily what’s in the crosswalk. They start making the turn and the next thing you know, there’s a pedestrian there,” said Kolts.

In 2014, there were 221 auto versus pedestrian crashes in Denver and police want that number down.

They’ve targeted high crash intersections and will be setting the bait for a plainclothes sting. “We’re gonna' put an officer in plain clothes who is gonna' walk across the intersection. We’ll have a spotter, and we’ll have a couple vehicles that are gonna' chase,” Sgt. Kolts said.

Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez supports this enforcement. He knows the problem first hand. “My own mother was struck when she was crossing an intersection, took out both of her knees, both of her legs were broken and this was something that could have been avoided."

That’s the plan, Denver Police said.