​Muhlenberg Township Police and the Highway Safety Network are urging motorists and pedestrians to observe pedestrian safety laws.

Muhlenberg Township is one of three Berks municipalities that received a grant from PennDOT this month. Sargent Andy Swoyer says his department will use the grant to increase patrols for pedestrian safety, including enforcement of vehicles not yield to pedestrians.

The two other municipalities to receive funds In Berks County were the City of Reading and West Reading.

Swoyer believes there are several factors which cause drivers not to observe pedestrian safety laws. “Aggressive driving, people on cells phones, speeding. We also see a lot of people crossing mid-block, and it can be very dangerous at night and day” said Swoyer.

”Over the last 4 or 5 year’s we’ve had at least seven fatalities involving pedestrians along the (5th street) highway. We’re concentrating on driver and pedestrian violations both at cross walks and at intersections, and those illegal crossing mid-block.”

Muhlenberg Township police enforce pedestrian safety laws on 5th street highway in a targeted enforcement detail.

Tara Destefano, Coordinator for the Highway Safety Network, says the responsibility for pedestrian safety lies with both the pedestrian and drivers.

“Pedestrians have to realize they must cross at the cross walk to be safe. By law, if they are in the cross, the driver must stop. What drivers should understand is that pedestrians in crosswalks are essentially a stop signal for them.” said Destefano.

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