Undercover officers in Burlington County will be posing as pedestrians to crack down on motorists who fail to stop when someone is using a crosswalk.
The state Division of Highway Traffic Safety awarded the county sheriff a $30,000 grant for the special enforcement effort after highway pedestrian deaths in the county spiked last year.
Motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians face up to a $200 fine and could be ordered to perform community service. If they strike someone, they could face up to 25 days in county jail. Pedestrians who fail to use the crosswalk could be fined $25.
In 2012, eleven pedestrians were killed in the county, many of them on Route 130, which has been named one of the state's most dangerous highways each of the last five years.
County-wide, there was an average of six pedestrian fatalities between 2009 and 2011.
"We will be working with local police departments to target areas where both pedestrians and drivers are not following the law,” said Sheriff Jean Stanfield in a statement. Sheriff’s Officers and municipal police officers will participate in the year-long operation, beginning this month, she said.
The operation will be conducted throughout the county, she said, noting there also have been 637 pedestrian crashes between 2007 and 2011. Many occurred in Evesham Township, Mount Laurel and Pemberton.
This year there have been four crashes involving pedestrians, and two were deadly.
The Sheriff’s Department is also cracking down on traffic violations on Route 130 with the help of a $225,000 state grant. Launched last month, the effort led to more than 1,200 tickets being issued in the first two weeks. Sixteen summonses were handed out to pedestrians.