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Santa assists road safety enforcement in Las Vegas

Posted at 12:12 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 15:21:58-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 102 people have died in traffic related crashes in 2019 in Las Vegas 49 weeks into the year, 46 of which have been pedestrians struck while crossing the road.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said Thursday that this week has been the deadliest since the first week of the year with four deaths.

The annual "Santa in the Crosswalk" enforcement drive brought multiple agencies together in an attempt to crack down on people violating crosswalk laws on Silverado Ranch Boulevard.

An officer dressed in a dark blue Santa Claus outfit crossed the street in a crosswalk for four hours near Maryland Parkway while police spotters pointed out anyone who violated the law for nearby motorcycle police officers to pull over.

"We try to have fun with Santa, but it also sends a message," Sgt. David Stoddard with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Traffic Division said, "If people don't stop for Santa, they're obviously not going to stop for someone walking slowly in the dark."

Officers said the enforcement effort was meant to send a message to drivers and pedestrians alike that following the rules can save lives.

Stoddard said drivers should always slow down before approaching a crosswalk and come to a full stop if someone is trying to cross the street, and pedestrians need to look both ways, use common sense when entering the roadway, and always use a crosswalk.