Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2018

Currently: 64° — Complete forecast

Pedestrian safety-awareness event set for Charleston Boulevard today


Steve Marcus

Pedestrians cross Boulder Highway in a designated crosswalk Thursday, March 2, 2017.

With pedestrian fatalities reaching an all-time high this year, local law enforcement agencies are using a Thanksgiving favorite to raise safety awareness.

Butterball One, a police officer wearing a turkey outfit, will cross the sidewalk on Charleston Boulevard east of Valley View Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Officers from Metro and troopers from the Nevada Highway Patrol will give tickets to motorists who do not yield the right-of-way to Butterball and other pedestrians in a marked crosswalk.

Pedestrians crossing outside of intersections and marked midblock crosswalks will also be ticketed.

There have been 62 pedestrian fatalities in 2017, already a record high. This marks the third straight year the number reported before the Butterball event has risen. At the time of 2016’s event, there were 50 pedestrian fatalities, an increase from the 40 fatalities reported before the 2015 event.

Pedestrians are asked to remember safety-education rules:

• When walking or biking, wear lights or reflectors to help drivers see you.

• Be predictable: Cross the street and ride where you belong and where drivers should be looking for you.

• Pay full attention at all times, put your cellphone away and keep watching as you walk and bike.

• Never assume a driver will stop for you until they motion you to cross.

• Drivers are urged to slow down, pay attention and look for those on foot and bike. Drivers are also reminded to stop for walkers when they are crossing the street correctly — intersections and marked crosswalks.

Additionally, advocates caution everyone to be safe and to not drive or ride with a driver who is impaired. Pedestrians under the influence of drugs and alcohol judgment also put themselves at risk.

Advocates will be in the area to distribute reflectors and offer safety tips to pedestrians.