Under a federal grant to 13 police departments, New Jersey officers are acting as decoys in a “Cops in Crosswalks” program to catch motorists who endanger pedestrians, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since 2004, about 150 pedestrians annually have been killed in New Jersey and 6,000 injured.
Penalties increase under the new initiative. Drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians will get a $200 ticket, two points on their license, and a possible 15 days of community service. They may also face insurance surcharges and court costs. Negligent pedestrians who haphazardly run into the street without looking will be punished with a $54 fine. Collingswood, N.J., Police Sgt. Michael Taulane said some motorists had complained that the police are trying to hit them in the wallet with excessive tickets, but he said that’s not the case. “This is not about us getting money. It’s about saving lives,” Taulane said. “We don’t want someone to come here to go to a restaurant for dinner and get hit by a car.”