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Janesville Police go undercover for pedestrian safety

JANESVILLE (WKOW) — Janesville Police are working to improve pedestrian safety after a man was hit and killed while crossing the street last month.

They have gotten countless complaints, all year from people walking and nearly getting hit in crosswalks.

“They drive really fast and tend not to want to stop,” Amy Rosencrans, who was walking downtown Thursday, said.

It’s a common complaint in Janesville, drivers failing to stop for people crossing the street.

“They’ll stop at the last minute because they have to, otherwise they’ll hit the person,” Rosencrans said. “So you are a little timid and shy to try and cross that area.”

That’s why the Janesville police department kept a close eye on the crosswalk on Main Street, Thursday.

27 News was there when Officer Peter Cronin went under cover, walking back and forth to see how bad the problem is.

“I try to make myself visible and give them plenty of time to stop,” Officer Cronin said.”For some reason, they still aren’t able to see or are distracted otherwise inside their vehicle.”

24 people were pulled over Thursday and got off with a warning and a safety brochure.

If their driving had been dangerous enough, they could have been fined up to $330 and received a four-point violation on their license.

Whatever it takes to get the message across.

Sergeant Brian Vaughn says they want to focus on changing bad habits.

“So it’s really something to get out and educate everybody about crosswalks and what the responsibilities are,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn says what they saw Thursday was about average for the Main Street crosswalk.

But it’s not always like that, which prompted the undercover operation.

There was at least one very close call.

“The closest call actually wasn’t me, it was somebody else that a lady had to slam her brakes on in order to stop from hitting the pedestrian,” Cronin said.

Janesville police spent time monitoring the Main Street crosswalk.

They also spent time in front of the Hedberg Public Library and plan to monitor three other intersections until next Monday.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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