PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — Portsmouth police have come up with a unique way to crack down on drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
After receiving a complaint from a resident about drivers refusing to stop, Portsmouth officers went undercover to catch them in the act.
The department posted a video to its Facebook page showing the point of view from a body camera inside a stroller. The officer is dressed in plain clothes and makes several attempts to cross the street. At one point, a truck can be seen whizzing by the front of the stroller.
According to police, the “sting” led to nine $85 citations in just three hours.
Portsmouth resident Dave Yuengert, who frequently goes for a run, said the number of citations is not surprising. He said the roads are extremely dangerous to cross, especially at the crosswalk next to Portsmouth High School.
“If my kids had to cross that road, I’d be very concerned every day,” Yuengert said. “It’s dangerous here and it’s dangerous on the entrance of 24. I try to make sure I’m on the opposite side of the street.”
Yuengert said while the “sting” is a start, he believes more signs should be added in the area to help enforce the speed limit.
Eyewitness News reached out to several town councilors to see if they would consider adding more signs. Several responded by saying it is up to the state to add those signs, but said the R.I. Department of Transportation has told them they will be adding flashing pedestrian lights to the crosswalks eventually.
Eyewitness News also reached out to RIDOT for an estimated time frame for when those flashing lights will be installed, but haven’t heard back.