Crosswalk enforcement illustrates dangers for local pedestrians

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - 2018 has been a dangerous year for pedestrians. Wisconsin Department of Transportation statistics show 38 pedestrians were killed so far this year.

One of those pedestrians was killed Oct. 4 in Green Bay. Cassandra L. Fazzi, 36, was struck by a vehicle while walking in the street near Manitowoc Rd and Brosig St. The crash remains under investigation.

The video game Frogger, where a frog has to navigate across lanes of traffic, has become an inspiration for a real-life lesson on safety for pedestrians.

Action 2 News went out with De Pere Police as they enforced Operation Frogger. One after another, officers stopped drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

"We've been out here probably 15 minutes and we got almost a dozen stops already," says Officer Jedd Bradley, De Pere Police.

Under officer supervision, volunteers crossed Broadway in the crosswalk -- alert and keeping an eye on traffic.

One volunteer was forced to stop in the middle of the street. An officer prepared to pull into traffic, but a silver minivan drove right between them.

Action 2 News photojournalist Michael Bergman was nearly clipped while crossing the street.

"We've had calls already in the past where there's been hands on the hoods even in bright yellow vests," Bradley says.

Through warnings and citations, police stopped 31 drivers in less than two hours. The law states that drivers must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. In the afternoon, they stopped another 28 drivers at a single intersection; two drivers were cited, the rest received warnings.

It's a statewide problem. The DOT map shows 1,037 pedestrian crashes this year.

"All drivers can play a role by just simply following the rules of the road," says Mario Gonzalez, communications/marketing manager, WELLO. "Slowing down when you see pedestrians, and from the pedestrians standpoint, just knowing, being alert, look both ways."

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