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New Jersey town undercover to curb pedestrian accidents

A New Jersey town north of Trenton is going undercover in its efforts to curb pedestrian accidents, a TV station reports.

Fort Lee has sent out plainclothes police officers to cross one of the city's most dangerous intersections. When drivers don't yield to the officer, they are stopped by other officers and given a citation.

On a recent weekday, 56 traffic tickets were issued to drivers who failed to yield the right of way to a plainclothes officer.

Police told a newspaper that the undercover operation was in response to increasing pedestrian accidents; 12 in just the first two months of this year.

Last year, 68 pedestrians were struck by vehicles and four were killed.

Some motorists complained about the plainclothes officers in the crosswalk, however, saying the officer entered the street when it was too late for them to stop their vehicles.

Officers say they're simply trying to prevent more tragedies.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in 2010, more than 4,200 pedestrians were struck and killed by motor vehicles.

Another 70,000 people were injured in pedestrian accidents across the nation.

That means a pedestrian was injured every eight minutes and that someone was killed about every two hours.

Who is considered a pedestrian? Anyone who is walking, running, jogging, etc.

NBC, "NJ Town Sets Up Crosswalk Sting to Curb Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians," April 7, 2013

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