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Pedestrian Safety

By October 25, 2019 No Comments

This time of the year brings shorter days and longer hours of darkness. With that comes an increased risk for pedestrians. It is more difficult to see people walking when it’s dark. Drivers and pedestrians share the responsibility of keeping themselves and others safe.

Pedestrians

Look before you cross

  • Make eye contact with drivers and ensure they see you and will stop
  • Clearly show your intentions to cross
  • Watch for turning and passing vehicles
  • Look across all lanes for moving vehicles before proceeding
Make yourself visible to drivers

  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing
  • Cross in a well-lit area at night
  • Wear bright-colored clothing and reflective material
  • Mount a safety flag on a wheelchair, motorized cart or stroller
Avoid dangerous and distracted behaviors

  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections; don’t cross-mid block
  • Remove headphones and stay off cell phones while crossing
  • Obey all traffic signals
  • Don’t solely rely on traffic signals; look for vehicles before crossing
  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic
  • If intoxicated, don’t walk without assistance—a cab ride home may be a safer option

Motorists

Stop for crossing pedestrians

  • Stop for crossing pedestrians at every intersection, even those without crosswalks or stop lights
  • Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians
  • Leave lots of room between you and the pedestrian when stopping
Watch for pedestrians at all times

  • Scan the road and sides of the road ahead for pedestrians
  • Look carefully behind your vehicle before backing up, especially for small children
  • Watch for people in wheelchairs and motorized carts, who may be below eye level
Avoid distracted and aggressive driving

  • Put away the cell phones, food and make-up
  • Stop for pedestrians, even when they are in the wrong or crossing mid-block
  • Never pass or drive around a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians
  • Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at STOP signs
Avoid distracted and aggressive driving

  • Put away the cell phones, food and make-up
  • Stop for pedestrians, even when they are in the wrong or crossing mid-block
  • Never pass or drive around a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians
  • Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at STOP signs

The highlights of the law to protect our pedestrians are:

  • Motorists must treat every corner and intersection as a crosswalk, whether it’s marked or unmarked, and drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians.
  • Pedestrians must obey traffic signs and signals at all intersections that have them.
  • When a vehicle is stopped at an intersection, drivers of other vehicles approaching from the rear should never pass the stopped vehicle.
  • Drivers should scan the road and sides of the road ahead for pedestrians.
  • Vehicles stopped for pedestrians can proceed once the pedestrian has completely crossed the lane in front of the stopped vehicle.
  • People driving and walking should avoid distractions and dangerous behavior.
  • Pedestrians shouldn’t enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it is impossible for the driver to stop.
Minnesota Pedestrian Statute