Eau Claire Police pull over 73 people in crosswalk sting

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Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- This dramatic security camera video from the Ramada Hotel in downtown Eau Claire shows just how dangerous it can be to be a pedestrian.

Cars come within feet of hitting this undercover Eau Claire police officer trying to cross the street. Police say that is what this sting operation is trying to prevent.

"We're trying to be proactive and how frequent this is," said Sgt. Travis Quella.

The results from a sting operation show many of us are not stopping, not following the law. For two days, 8 hours total, an undercover officer dressed in regular clothes repeatedly crossed Farwell Street. The results were surprising.

"We found it was more common to violate the statute than to obey it," Quella said.

Police pulled over 73 drivers during the sting; they were issued a warning, and a reminder about how the law works.

"We had citizens out there that didn't want to violate a traffic law, they just didn't know they had to stop," he said.

Quella says many times, the officer was missed by just two to three feet.

"It was common for motorists to tell us they didn't think they had to stop if they were on the other side of the center line or several feet from the pedestrian," Quella added.

He says drivers are supposed to stop when the pedestrian is on the street and if they have a reasonable amount of time and space to do so. A message, and lessons, short and simple.

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