By Jim Melwert

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – A program in Chester County, aimed in part at cracking down on distracted walking, has won a PennDOT highway safety award.

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The award went to Chester County, based on its program called “Cops in Crosswalks,” in which West Chester police monitor pedestrians trying to cross busy South High Street.

Chester County district attorney Tom Hogan says they found three primary causes for auto-pedestrian crashes. One is jaywalking. Another is intoxication or drug use –- especially in a college town.

The third, Hogan describes as an “unfortunate trend.”

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“We are seeing more and more, particularly students, on their iPhones, either on the telephone or texting, as they are walking into the street.”

West Chester police conducted pedestrian enforcement details, trying to get people to look up from their smartphones before crossing the street.

Hogan says he hopes to see the program spread across Pennsylvania.


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