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Merrimack Valley

October 11, 2013

200 ticketed for crosswalk violations

METHUEN – Police issued more than 200 tickets to drivers who failed to stop for pedestrians in a city crosswalk crackdown last month.

At marked crosswalks all over Methuen, police used plain clothes officers in a decoy operation fueled by a $5,000 grant from the state’s Executive Officer of Public Safety and Security.

Officers stopped 224 drivers and issued 218 citations that carried a $200 fine, according to a report by Sgt. Michael Havey.

Police also made one arrest, issued three summonses and were involved in “a vehicle pursuit that was terminated at the Lawrence city line,” Havey wrote.

The Eagle-Tribune accompanied police on a crosswalk sting operation on Friday, Sept. 27. That evening, 45 tickets were issued by police.

According to state law, all drivers must yield to a pedestrian if they are in a marked crosswalk and crosswalk traffic signals are not in operation there.

Nationally, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes, according to police.

Across the state, EOPSS issued $192,000 in crosswalk grants to support pedestrian and bicycle safety. Communities were allowed to usethe money to conduct targeted enforcement, use decoys, purchase reflective tape and signs and have educational material printed as handouts.

With the grant money, Methuen police conducted enforcement at two crosswalks on Broadway, four locations on Haverhill Street, East Street at the Appleton Square Apartments, Center and Tenney streets and numerous other locations, according to the report.

Police Chief Joseph Solomon said the department wanted to highlight pedestrian safety and ultimately focus on the issue of distracted driving and its dangers.

Ticketed drivers can request an appeals hearing at district court.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill

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