Both jaywalkers and drivers who fail to yield the right of way should beware - the Provo Police Department is stepping up patrols around busy intersections and issuing more citations.

Crime Prevention Officer Karen Morales said the city is receiving an unusually high number of complaints from pedestrians about vehicles failing to yield right of way."We've gotten calls from people who actually felt like their lives were in danger because they had to cross the street," Morales said.

Police records from last year show that the callers may have good reason to be concerned. Even though no one was killed in an automobile-pedestrian accident in Provo last year, police responded to 46 automobile-pedestrian accidents.

Particular areas of concern for most callers are University Avenue, Center Street and 500 West, streets police say are the city's busiest. Motorists failing to yield for pedestrians at a crosswalk west of Utah Valley Regional Medical Center have generated the most concern. A 62-year-old man suffered a broken pelvis when struck by a car there in December.

"Vehicles just aren't used to stopping for pedestrians," Morales said. "(Both pedestrians and motorists) need to start thinking more about what they're doing in these situations."

Pedestrians have the right of way at all marked crosswalks and intersections, according to Provo City ordinances, and motorists should either "slow down or actually stop to follow the letter of the law.

"They need to slow down in anticipation of pedestrians near crosswalks, especially if there are people near them."

That particular ordinance, though, does not mean pedestrians should throw caution to the wind, she said.

"The pedestrian also has the responsibility to not leave the curb until there is a safe position or a clear-running path.

"All we ask is that the pedestrian use reason when approaching the roadway."

Pedestrians who do not cross a street in a crosswalk must yield the right of way to motorists, and they can be cited for jaywalking.

"(Pedestrians) must yield right of way at unmarked crosswalks or wait at the intersection and let traffic clear. Otherwise, they should cross at areas where there is a signal light."

But motorists are responsible for avoiding any accident that they can.

Police are stepping up enforcement during all hours, but particularly between noon and 5 p.m.

Officers are citing violators on both sides of the issue, she said.

"They have ticketed a few more drivers and have warned more pedestrians, especially when pedestrians could possibly impede traffic."



Mean streets

Provo's statistically most dangerous streets for pedestrians:


Street accidents in 1990

300 South 5

500 West 4

University Ave. 4

900 East 4

Freedom Boulevard 3

Center Street 3

2230 North 3

Total auto-pedestrian accidents in Provo during 1990: 46