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CMPD cracks down on pedestrians, cyclists, drivers violating laws uptown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers targeted drivers, cyclists and pedestrians violating laws uptown Thursday morning.

The second annual Watch for Me NC event comes after a rise in deadly pedestrian crashes this year.

Just outside of the Epicentre, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department focused on the intersection of College and East Trade streets, where they've seen 12 pedestrians die over the past five years.

So far this year, CMPD's major crash investigation team has handled 13 pedestrian deaths, as well as a cyclist who died after a car hit him.

That number is up significantly from around the same time last year, when four pedestrians and two cyclists died.

Last month, Channel 9 reported on the 12th person who was killed, an 11-year-old girl who was hit and killed on West Boulevard.

She was crossing the street near Ridge Avenue when a truck hit her.

Police began monitoring the uptown intersection at 10 a.m., looking for people who didn't use the crosswalk, as well as cars that didn't slow down or stop for pedestrians.
 
"We're going to give out warning tickets today unless someone gets struck," Sgt. David Sloan said.

Cathrine Vanhoet said she was walking in uptown and had a close call with a vehicle.

"I got to about the third step, cross line there, and this car came whipping back behind me," she said. "I mean, I could feel the air behind me. I mean, I literally jumped."

Officers also were looking for pedestrian violations.

Many don’t know that when they are crossing an intersection and the red hand appears with the countdown blinking on the pedestrian-crossing signal, they are breaking the law.

Pedestrians can only cross when the walking person icon is lit.

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