According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 1,923 pedestrians injured and 83 killed last year in traffic crashes within the state. Drivers are required to yield or stop for pedestrians, however, there are no guarantees they will. Cellular telephones, car computers, GPS devices, weather conditions, inattention and even willful disregard of the law can turn a pedestrian?s innocent stroll across the street into a very tragic event. Please exercise safety and obey the pedestrian crosswalk signal on Jefferson Street in front of the college. While in most situations pedestrians have the right-of-way, the presence of a pedestrian crosswalk signal or a police officer directing traffic places some legal responsibilities on pedestrians. Virginia traffic laws actually require pedestrians to obey crosswalk signals. Many localities do not actively enforce these laws, but the possibility does exist and pedestrians should be aware of the potential legal, as well as life threatening consequences of crossing against pedestrian signals.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
- When a crosswalk signal is present, only cross when authorized.
- Even when authorized, always look left, right and then left again before crossing.
- Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
- Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road, never in the roadway.
- Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before crossing.
- If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Remember, only the driver can stop the vehicle and he has to choose to stop.
- If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left until no cars are coming. Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, walk. Don?t run.
- Watch for turning vehicles pulling from the wrong side of the street or from private drives.
- Do not text message or read while crossing.
- Do not blindly follow others or allow others to direct you across the street without looking.