By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve

SOMERVILLE (CBS) – There was a crosswalk crackdown in Somerville on Tuesday. Police were out ticketing drivers who didn’t stop for people in the crosswalks. The state law is very clear, but as Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve shows us, many drivers seem to be unaware of the rules.

Davis Square in Somerville at lunch time and very few drivers are stopping for people in the crosswalks. It was right there on June 12th that a 90-year-old woman was struck and killed in a crosswalk by a FedEx delivery truck. Partly for that reason, as a video posted on Facebook shows, Somerville police began cracking down at seven locations across the city. Over two weeks in June they wrote almost $40,000 in tickets.

Somerville Police SUV at crosswalk sting. (WBZ-TV)

Somerville Police SUV at crosswalk sting. (WBZ-TV)

In their crosswalk sting, police used a department employee who kept walking across the street, which at least one person suggested was entrapment. Somerville Deputy Police Chief Mike Cabral disagrees. “It is not entrapment, we have police officers in uniform, marked police vehicles, if you stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk to you will not be cited,” Cabral said.

And many pedestrians seemed to agree with the police.

“I don’t think it is entrapment. They are supposed to stop!”

Another said, “it looks like entrapment… but it is necessary…”

It is real simple, state laws says if a person is in a crosswalk, cars and bicycles must stop. If not it is $200 fine. Somerville police showed WBZ exactly what they did in June.

Our cameras watched as a police department employee entered the crosswalk and the cars kept on coming.

Deputy Chief Cabral says, “people are in such a rush today… if you are pedestrian… you have to wait or risk your life crossing the street.”

Somerville police say 47 pedestrians have been injured in the past year. And they simply want drivers to be more cautious.

The $40,000 in fines for those tickets is divided up between the state, the city, the court system, and the local police department.


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