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Officer Michael Lemley is followed by FOX5 photojournalist Armando Navarro as he crosses the street. (Stefanie Jay/FOX5)
In November, Las Vegas police officers donned turkey suits in a similar crosswalk event. (FOX5)
Officer in a Santa suit crossing the street
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
With St. Patrick's Day coming this weekend, Las Vegas Metro police are employing the use of green-clad "leprechaun" officers in an all-day pedestrian enforcement sting.
Metro started conducting the enforcement detail Tuesday morning at crosswalk locations throughout Las Vegas.
Despite the unusual use of costuming an officer crossing the street, Metro is pointing at the all-too real consequences of vehicle collisions with pedestrians.
Metro said the green should give drivers every opportunity to see the officer and yield to him.
Metro Officer Michael Lemley has served as a costumed officer in the past.
"Yield rates in December when Santa took to the crosswalk were the highest ever, and our goal is education, not citation, so we're actually happy when everyone stops," Officer Lemley said.
Lemley also served as "Officer Butterball" during the Thanksgiving week enforcement last year.
Metro police said the model of the enforcement stemmed from those used in Washington State, where traditional enforcement was not working.
Police said Clark County has seen a 50 percent rise in automobile fatalities, including those involving pedestrians. Police say they want to take every opportunity to save lives and educate all road users.
Metro also is focusing on speeding as drivers have less reaction time to stop before they hit a pedestrian.
According to police, about 85 percent of those hit by a vehicle at 15 mph survive. For a vehicle speeding at 40 mph, about 85 percent of those hit will die.
Do events like these convince you that much is being done to keep pedestrians safe? What do you think?
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