Government Law

'Butterball' operation puts officer dressed as turkey in crosswalk to reduce pedestrian fatalities

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A state highway patrol officer dressed in a turkey costume is trying to keep pedestrian traffic fatalities down in Nevada’s Clark County.

Dubbed “Butterball One,” the joint operation by state police, metropolitan police and Clark County school police is ticketing drivers who fail to stop as Trooper Chelsea Stuenkel strolls across a crosswalk at designated intersections while wearing a red and yellow turkey costume, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

This is the seventh year that the approach has been tried, and pedestrian fatalities in Clark County are down a bit. They dropped from 46 at this time in 2013 and 45 in 2014 to 39 this year.

Last year, 15 motorcycle cops lurking behind nearby law offices had steady work as a number of drivers nearly hit fellow motorists who had stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk or zoomed around the strolling turkey, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported at the time.

“If they don’t see me dressed in this sparkly costume,” said last year’s “turkey,” Metro traffic officer Michael Lemley, “how are they gonna see a citizen who is dressed normally?”

An Associated Press article contains a link to a Fox 5 video of Stuenkel’s operation.

Tickets are $191, and with court costs can add up to nearly $300.

FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Related coverage: “‘Butterball’ operation pits cops dressed as turkeys against drivers who violate crosswalk laws”

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