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While the following story did not occur here in New York, it did happen to our nearby neighbors to the south in New Jersey; and the story itself is very interesting from a number of perspectives.

A special pedestrian safety operation was performed in a small town in New Jersey. The operation, dubbed "Pedestrian Safety Decoy," entailed an officer "acting" like a pedestrian. The officer would cross the street and if any vehicles that approached the officer violated traffic laws pertaining to pedestrians and crosswalks, the secretive operation would write them a ticket. In total, the operation ensnared 26 people in a two-hour window.

Now, there's no doubt that pedestrian safety is a very important issue all across the country. Pedestrians are inherently vulnerable when they cross the street. If a car strikes them, they are likely to suffer some serious injuries.

But the main issue with this operation is the manner in which it was deployed. Did the police inform the public -- like with a DUI checkpoint -- that this undercover operation was going on? How did the police officer act while crossing the street? Was the officer purposely toeing the line between the road and the crosswalk to try and increase the likelihood of a ticket? And how about the entrapment aspect of the case?

A traffic ticket often is more than just a simple fine. In many cases, a traffic violation can result in increased insurance rates and require the person to attend traffic classes. If these tickets were issued in a fishy way, then the "offenders" should consult an attorney. They could get the ticket expunged.

Source: Hunterdon County Democrat, "Clinton police ticket 26 drivers in Pedestrian Safety Decoy operation," Sept. 3, 2013

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