LAYTON Motorists in Layton not only need to slow down and reduce their distractions, but they also must be more aware of pedestrians in marked crosswalks, according to police.
The Layton police held two crosswalk "stings" this week and could stage more to get the attention of motorists.
Layton Police Chief Terry M. Keefe told the City Council he put plainclothes officers in crosswalks at both the Main Street and Angel intersection and in front of Lincoln Elementary School. Then, other officers pulled over drivers who did not stop soon enough or at all.
"It's risky to use a crosswalk," Keefe admitted after these exercises. "It's important to get the public to slow down."
At the Main Street and Angel crosswalk, police stopped 54 drivers, many of whom received citations.
One of the officers was nearly struck by a careless driver in the Main-Angel crosswalk.
On Antelope Drive, 48 vehicles were pulled over. More citations could have been written if the police had more officers targeting the offenders, Keefe noted.
"Many are distracted drivers" using their cell phones, Keefe said "even hands-free ones."
He said his officers have seen all kinds of distractions among drivers, besides cell phones from shaving and applying makeup, to reading and eating or drinking while driving.
"You name it, we've seen it," he said. "Everyone's in a hurry."
"I was totally amazed," Layton Councilman Scott Freitag said, explaining he watched some of the Antelope Drive crosswalk exercise.
Keefe said Layton is considering using a more-reflective kind of marking in the city to improve crosswalk safety.
He said a ban on using cell phones while driving in Layton is impractical, because it could not be enforced adequately.
"I don't have enough officers," he said.City Manager Alex Jensen said the Angel-Main Street intersection doesn't warrant a traffic signal presently, according to UDOT's requirements. However, he said the intersection is difficult, because Angel connects with Main Street on an angle. Also, a motorcyclist was killed in that intersection several weeks ago.
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