Pedestrian Deaths Prompt Police Crackdown

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

Reno police officers are keeping watch on Virginia Street near the famous arch. It's where they see a lot of people on foot crossing the line when it comes to the law.

"Officers are going to be out in force," says Sgt. Jim Stegmaier, of the Reno Police Department.

This is part of RPD's efforts to cut down on pedestrian-involved crashes. There have been about 100 this year - which is a 20-percent increase over last year. The number of pedestrians killed has reached 10.

"Yeah there have been quite a few," says Jose Pizcarrondo, of the recent pedestrian deaths. He says the number is troubling.

"Look if you don't pay attention, this is what happens," he says.

That's what Reno police want to tell drivers and pedestrians. When they took a closer look at all of the crashes, they could not find any one spot that was the most dangerous.

"They happen all over town," says Sgt. Stegmaier. "Different times of day, different ages of the victims. But the one thing that is consistent is that in each of the incidents, either the motorist or the victim was not paying attention at the time of the incident."

"I kind of see how that can happen here because a lot of people don't pay attention to the stop signs or cars or crossings," says Lavelle Bridges, a pedestrian in downtown Reno. "They don't seem to care if the lights green or red. Just leisurely cross whenever they want."

Pedestrians can get cited for numerous reasons, including not using a crosswalk in an area that has a lot of them close to each other. They can also get in trouble for suddenly leaving the curb and not giving oncoming traffic enough time to react accordingly. Tickets can cost about $120.

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