More Pedestrian Emphasis Patrols Courtesy of Stickman Knows, Cheney Police Department

More Pedestrian Emphasis Patrols Courtesy of Stickman Knows, Cheney Police Department

Jan 27, 2012

SPOKANE and CHENEY, Wash. – Although the weather is chilly, the heat is on with pedestrian emphasis patrols in downtown Cheney next Tues., Jan. 31. Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) is sponsoring the three-hour enforcement effort, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in partnership with the Cheney Police Department. It is the first of four planned patrols—all part of the health district’s comprehensive pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist safety campaign, called Stickman Knows.

Emphasis patrols are a proven way to alert those motorists and pedestrians whose actions put pedestrians at risk. During the patrol, a plainclothes officer will act as a pedestrian decoy and walk within the crosswalks multiple times throughout the three-hour period. Three other Cheney Police Department officers will be watching and waiting nearby to cite motorists that fail to yield to the pedestrian, a $124 fine. They will also provide education to these drivers via Stickman Knows education materials.

Officers will also be watching for pedestrians that fail to cross legally and cite them as well, a $56 fine, and provide them education.

Here is a complete listing of patrols:

  • Jan. 31       First and “D” Streets            10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Feb. 2         First and “A” Streets            10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Feb. 21       Washington Street at PHASE Bldg.    9:00 a.m. – Noon
  • Feb. 23       Washington Street at Elm Street    9:00 a.m. – Noon

On average, 20 pedestrians and bicyclists are hit in Spokane County every month. Of the 997 pedestrian and bicyclist collisions occurring between 2006 and 2009, 3 percent resulted in death, while 11 percent resulted in serious injury. Cheney and Medical Lake areas contributed 14 pedestrian collisions to the total number.

Research resulting from the Stickman Knows campaign shows that in Spokane County, when a pedestrian is at fault for a collision with a motorist, the main reasons are failure to use a crosswalk and failure to grant right of way to the vehicle. When a motorist collides with a pedestrian, the main reason is failure to yield to the right of way to the pedestrian.

Said Cheney’s Chief of Police John Hensley, “When a motorist fails to let a pedestrian legally cross – or when a pedestrian crosses outside a crosswalk, for that matter – those may not be felonies, but when a motor vehicle and a person collide, the outcome can be devastating.”

The best ways for pedestrians to stay safe:

  • Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections.
  • Before crossing, look left, right, then left again.
  • Begin crossing the street on "Walk" signal.
  • Wear reflective or bright clothing after dark and in bad weather.
  • Watch out for trucks and buses backing out of parking spaces and driveways.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can impair the motor skills and judgment of pedestrians just as it does for drivers. Don't take the risk.
  • Very small children should not cross street by themselves. Make sure your children are aware of pedestrian safety tips and laws.

The best ways for motorists to help keep pedestrians safe:

  • Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, whether they are marked or unmarked.
  • Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
  • Yield to pedestrians when turning.
  • Be careful when passing stopped vehicles.

Also, when it comes to pedestrian and motorist collisions involving adults in Spokane County, they happen most often between October and February. That is why it is so important that pedestrians and motorists not underestimate the dangers of snow and ice. Motorists should use winter tires, as well as properly defrost and/or scrap windows before driving. Pedestrians should take sidewalks whenever possible and use extra caution when using crosswalks.

Spokane residents are also responsible for keeping their sidewalks clear of snow and ice. Be prepared to clear snow more than once during a snowstorm and shovel to the right side of your driveway when you’re looking at the street (this helps prevent plows from pushing shoveled snow back into your driveway).

Year-round safety tips for all users of the road are available at

Media are welcome to attend these emphasis patrols, please contact SRHD public information officer, Kim Papich at (509) 324-1539, or email at Representatives will be available for interviews. For media interested in ride-a-longs, please contact Cheney Police Sergeant Kelly Hembach at 509-498-9269, or by email at

More information can also be found at SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.

About Stickman Knows Spokane Regional Transportation Council board chose to fund approximately $200,000 for the Stickman Knows campaign via a Transportation Enhancement grant provided by the Washington Department of Transportation. In addition to emphasis patrols, the campaign is also visible in many parts of Spokane County including at; on TV commercials, billboard and bus advertisements, print ads, and promotional items; and at community events, in schools and neighborhoods—specifically in high collision areas. Additional funds go toward bicycle helmet distribution via Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Sheriff Oriented Community Policing Effort (SCOPE), and pedestrian and bicycle education in schools.