Carson City's Sting Operation - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Carson City's Sting Operation

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Remember what your mother said? Wait for traffic to clear before you cross the street. So what is the guy wearing a neon orange short and wide-brimmed hat thinking as he walks across busy Fairview Drive? Actually, he's thinking about catching lawbreakers. Don Quilici of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office told us, "I'm going to be about that thick when they scrape me up if I mess up."

After putting a microphone on Don and hiding our Ch.2 truck out of sight, we watched as one car after another fell in the trap. As Don said as he came back from one of his many hikes across Fairview at Gordon Street in front of the Slotworld Casino, "It’s amazing, how you stand out in bright orange and nobody sees you..."

Patrolmen hid on a side street at the ready, and car after car met up with the ticket writers down the road. In one hour, Don and his crew ticketed dozens of drivers. Easy pickins on a speedy street, where at times it looked like a game of deadly dodgeball. Not stopping for Don: a grey SUV...a green Chevy…another grey SUV....a red SUV. After that one, Don said, "That was easy. They looked right at me and didn't even stop."

As we found today, even crossing the street in bright daylight, wearing neon orange can be a dicey proposition. Don told us, "Man, if you're not really careful, they could just mow you right down. Yeah, you kind of gotta dance out there a bit."

One ticketed driver came back, calling Don's actions...entrapment. Matt Rademaker made his case to Sgt. Scott McDaniel, telling him, “I understand you have trouble with this crosswalk, but a sting operation like this is not the way to help things. I didn’t see him until he was in the crosswalk.” Why didn’t he stop then? “The only thing I could have done was locked up the brakes."

Matt Rademaker was told his ticket carries a $170 fine. He said,  “Pedestrians don’t act that way, just walking out on the street without looking both ways. He's not conducting himself like a normal pedestrian would conduct himself at a crosswalk like this. And that's unfair.” Sgt. McDaniel’s response: "Sir, with your argument, I would recommend and encourage you to take it to court and have a judge decide."

Why should the drivers get tickets, because some guy won't look both ways before crossing the street? McDaniel told me, "Pedestrians, although they aren't always in the right, often times they are not in the wrong either."

In this scenario, even though Don is not stopping for traffic, he's in the right. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks and intersections. But with triple the pedestrian deaths so far this year compared to last, Carson City is making the effort. As Don Quilici told me, “Yeah, people get hit. This is a bad one right here at Gordon. We've has a couple fatalities here in the last few months, so this is one we wanted to work on."

There were good drivers who stopped. There just aren’t enough of them. Nevada consistently ranks among the 10 worst states for pedestrian fatalities. Nearly 90% of pedestrians and drivers in fatal crashes are locals, not visitors. Statewide, there have been 28 pedestrian deaths so far this year. Carson City has had 3, already 2 more than last year.

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The Carson City Sheriff’s Office participation in the Joining Forces Pedestrian Safety event held today for crosswalk enforcement resulted in a total of 62 citations being issued for failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nationally, 4,735 people were killed in 2013.  Nevada consistently ranks among the 10 worst States for pedestrian fatalities. Nearly 90 percent of pedestrians and drivers involved in fatal crashes are
local residents, not visitors! (NHTSA and UNLV TRC) The Carson City Sheriff’s Office reminds you to “Watch for pedestrians in the crosswalks”.

Grant Funding for this event is provided by the Nevada Department of Public Safety-Office of Traffic Safety.   These monies are used to pay for additional deputies who participate in these events.

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