As part of the ongoing efforts of OPERATION DRIVE SAFE 2013, to improve pedestrian & traffic safety in the city, the Oak Ridge Police Department (in conjunction with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office) will be conducting an intensive eight day pedestrian crosswalk safety operation that will focus on motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

The operation will begin on Friday, February 15th, and focus on a particularly dangerous location on Emory Valley Rd. Officers dressed in plain clothes will be crossing the street at the marked crosswalk, as uniformed patrol officers monitor the crosswalk for motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way, in addition to using radar to monitor drivers travelling in excess of the posted 40 mph speed limit. Drivers stopped during this safety operation will be issued citations.

"This crosswalk safety operation is another tool our department can utilize to improve traffic safety and educate motorists," said Oak Ridge Police Support Services Sgt Robert Pitts. "When approaching a crosswalk where pedestrians are present, drivers must yield the right-of-way. This operation will serve as a reminder of this responsibility and we expect that voluntary compliance will be improved as a result. Those who choose to ignore the law and the message, however, will be deterred from future violations through enforcement. As is the case with any other traffic law, it is easy to avoid a ticket – in this case, simply yield the right of way to pedestrians who are in a crosswalk and obey the speed limit."

The Oak Ridge Police Department offers these reminders:

  • Motorists should be alert for crosswalk signs and stop behind the crosswalk, not in it
  • Drivers always should look out for pedestrians when making turns
  • Pedestrians should be proactive by looking both ways before crossing a street and wearing light reflective clothing when it's dark outside

 

James T. Akagi, Chief of Police, Oak Ridge Police Department (865) 425-3504