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Yield To The Turkey – or Get a Ticket!

You may have noticed cars in Las Vegas who drive through pedestrian crosswalks without even noticing that someone is trying to cross the street. A few drivers may not know that they are required to yield to pedestrians occupying a crosswalk. Some may not care and flout the law by going around the pedestrians. And others may not see a pedestrian because they are distracted.

Well, the drivers in that last category should have been able to notice one undercover officer in a pedestrian crosswalk this week. That’s because (in honor of the holiday and to make a point), Metro Police officer Michael Lemley was wearing a turkey suit!

Yesterday, Lemley appeared in crosswalks at the Las Vegas intersections of Maryland Parkway and Reno Avenue, Maryland Parkway and University Road, and Charleston Boulevard and Burnham Avenue. Lemley would enter the crosswalks legally and watch for vehicles who failed to yield to him. Then he would radio his colleagues, who would pull over the offending drivers and issue a citation.

All together, 64 citations were issued during Lemley’s shift yesterday, most of which were for failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk (though one was for speeding and another was for DUI). That’s 15 more than last year’s similar effort. The operation is trying to raise awareness among drivers to watch out for pedestrians in crosswalks. There have been several auto-pedestrian accidents in the valley in recent weeks. Drivers should also keep in mind that if they strike a pedestrian, they could be named as defendants in a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit – which could result in them having to pay hefty damages to the victims and their families.