Crosswalk crackdown underway in San Fernando Valley


On the corner of Lemona Avenue and Ventura Boulevard, drivers were getting ticketed left and right. A plainclothes officer acted like a pedestrian, and as he crossed the street over and over again, police stopped drivers who refused to stop.

Police say fatal hit-and-run crashes involving pedestrians are on the rise. There has been an 18 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities so far this year.

In Encino, a hit-and-run killed a man in his late 40s early Monday morning. The victim wasn't in the crosswalk, but the driver fled the scene. Grant James Valentine, 26, of Woodland Hills, later surrendered to police.

The LAPD says along with the fatal accidents, general pedestrian versus car accidents are on the rise as well in the Valley by 4 percent.

To help curb the numbers, police officers were heavily deployed, patrolling the sidewalks.

Authorities say people should use common sense when they're walking: Pedestrians should never assume drivers are going to stop and always visually clear each lane before you walk.

Drivers should always scan the road ahead for pedestrians, making sure no one is stepping off the curb, and never leave the scene if you've hit someone because that's a crime.

Wednesday is International Walk to School Day. Thousands of schools across the country, including in Los Angeles, will be participating.

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