DENVER (CBS4) – In the first eight months of the year Denver police have responded to nearly 300 auto versus pedestrian accidents.
Doug Schepman, a spokesperson for the department, says that’s far too many.
“We responded to 277 auto vs pedestrian accidents. That’s a very high number,” he said.
In an effort to keep that number from climbing DPD is taking a new approach: having an officer in plain clothes hit the streets.
“In addition to the plain clothes officer who’s actually walking the crosswalks there’s a spotter and there are usually two officers in vehicles who make contact with drivers,” Schepman said.
Police are targeting intersections that data has shown to have a high number of these types of accidents.
East Iowa and South Broadway is one of them. Paul Italiano owns FashioNation right on the corner and says he has seen numerous accidents in the year he’s been in the building.
“Just the same old story. Distracted drivers. A guy got hit over here a couple weeks back,” Italiano said.
Another dangerous intersection is at East Ohio Avenue and South University Boulevard. In February a 3-year-old boy was killed when a driver crashed into his family.
Investigators say they were in they were in the crosswalk with the right of way at the time of the accident.
The goal of the new operation is not only to enforce the law but they’re also trying to educate drivers.
“If they spot an issue a driver takes the right of way from them, maybe they even see a pedestrian crossing against the light or mid-block, we’ll make contact with those folks,” Schepman said.
Denver police are also handing out printed out safety tips to walkers and bikers.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now reports for CBS4 News at 10 and is always open to story ideas. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.