The Centralia Police Department will put additional emphasis on the enforcement of pedestrian safety laws in the coming weeks as officers work in teams throughout the city in an effort to address crosswalk violations.
A plainclothes officer will be using crosswalks while another uniformed officer will be in the area watching for vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians, according to the Centralia Police Department.
On Sept. 13, officers conducting crosswalk enforcement in Centralia made 55 stops and wrote citations for 32 infractions, according to the Centralia Police Department.
Centralia officers performed the initiative again on Sept. 18 and additional enforcement dates will be “randomly selected” throughout September, according to the Centralia Police Department.
The purpose of the campaign is to increase safety for pedestrians and to increase driver awareness, according to the Centralia Police Department. The campaign was made possible by funding from a Washington State Traffic Safety Commission grant.
“We ask that all motorists maintain vigilance and anticipate pedestrians at crosswalks throughout our community at all times. Failing to yield for a pedestrian in a crosswalk carries a fine of $145,” the Centralia Police Department stated in a news release.
Washington state law requires operators of vehicles approaching a marked or unmarked crosswalk to yield to a pedestrian, bicycle or personal delivery device that is “upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway,” — meaning all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel — “upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning.”
Other approaching vehicles are prohibited from passing a vehicle stopped for pedestrian traffic.