Halifax Regional Police are hoping to put a dent in the number of collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles by sending out unmarked patrols to monitor crosswalks and hand out tickets.
"The one thing we're sure of is that most of these accidents are occurring because of driver inattention. In some cases it's pedestrian visibility as a contributing factor," said Deputy Chief Bill Moore of the Halifax Regional Police.
"If we have a pedestrian that's watching the traffic, making eye contact with drivers and we have drivers that are looking for pedestrians and making eye contact with pedestrians, that's the equation for safety."
On Tuesday, police dispatched their mascot — a two-metre tall dog named Blue — to crosswalks around the city to turn a few heads.
"I know some people may think that this is a silly approach by bringing Blue, our dog, out. But we're generating chatter," said Moore.
"Our mascots are being used really to negate the whole idea that drivers are saying, 'Well, I didn't see anybody in the crosswalk.'"
Halifax Regional Police also released more information about collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles this year — 74 in total, with 55 of them happening in marked crosswalks.
For a driver who fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the summary offence ticket is $687.
"We will have officers in cars, unmarked vehicles around, monitoring different crosswalks so if we see drivers that are not yielding to pedestrians, you can expect to be pulled over and potentially ticketed," said Moore.