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Tempe police step up efforts to enforce pedestrian laws

Five of the 14 fatal accidents in Tempe last year involved pedestrians.

That’s why Tempe police are stepping up patrols from May 1 through May 8 to make sure that both drivers and pedestrians are obeying the law. It’s a campaign called “Stop and Think” that is in conjunction with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

“Stop and think about your safety. Stop and think about the safety of others. Stop and think and ask yourself, ‘Am I doing the safest thing possible?'” said Tempe Police Sergeant Steve Carbajal.

Officers will be looking for a variety of violations.

“What we’re watching for is pedestrian signal violations, pedestrians crossing mid-block unsafely, and even vehicles whose (drivers’) behavior is unsafe for pedestrians as well,” said Carbajal. “We’re trying to make sure that are pedestrians are safe in Tempe.”

One of the areas Tempe officers will focus on is what is happening around Valley Metro Light Rail tracks.

“That’s where we seem to get a lot of our pedestrian violations,” Carbajal said. “People are in hurry to catch a light rail train, or something along those lines. We’re trying to make sure that people are mindful of their safety.”

Tempe police are reminding the public of several key points to remember:

1. Pedestrians should cross at marked crosswalks.

2. Pedestrians should only walk in the crosswalks and when they have the “walk” signal.

3. Pedestrians should stop and look both ways before entering or crossing a road.

4. Pedestrians should walk on a crosswalk and face traffic when possible.

5. Drivers must yield to pedestrians who are lawfully in a crosswalk.