A crosswalk safety advocate says Halifax needs a dedicated enforcement unit to try to cut the number of collisions between cars and pedestrians.

There's been an almost 60 per cent increase for the first 10 months of 2014 compared to the same timeframe last year.

Norm Collins made a presentation Thursday to the city's Crosswalk Safety Advisory Committee. He says evidence from other cities shows that stepped up enforcement can reduce the number of incidents and increase how much drivers yield to pedestrians.

“We need to do considerably more if we want to turn this thing around,” said Collins.

A five-officer unit could cost the city up $500,000 a year. City officials told the advisory committee it could not make budgetary recommendations to the police department.

“There is some thought that increased enforcement may have an effect,” said Janet Barlow, the chair of the advisory committee.

A Dalhousie University community design professor who sits on the advisory committee would like the city to ask the public for suggestions about what it thinks should be done. Ahsan Habib wants to host an information café on crosswalk safety.