RSPD Reminds Community About Pedestrian Traffic Safety

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With the onset of pleasant weather and longer hours of daylight the chances of motor vehicle/pedestrian crashes increases.  The Rock Springs Police Department urges both motorists and pedestrians to become aware of the potential for deadly crashes, and how to avoid those situations.

 

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According to the report to the Governors Highway Safety Association, many factors contribute to pedestrian deaths, but a recent contributing factor may be the rapidly growing use of smart phones while walking and driving “which can be a significant source of distraction for both pedestrians and motorists.”

Some of the responsibilities of motorists and pedestrians according to Wyoming Statutes:

Motorists:

  • Must yield to a pedestrian in or entering a crosswalk, marked or unmarked, and on any sidewalk.
  • Must yield to any blind pedestrian carrying a white cane or accompanied by a guide dog.
  • May not overtake from the rear any vehicle stopped to allow a pedestrian to use a crosswalk.

Pedestrians:

  • Must obey all traffic control devices placed at intersections.
  • May not leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
  • Must yield to all other traffic when crossing a highway at any point other than a crosswalk.
  • When walking along a highway pedestrians must use a sidewalk when available, and should walk facing traffic when practicable.
  • Must yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles.

Crosswalks:

While most motorists recognize crosswalks as normally having rectangular white blocks painted across a road or highway, Wyoming Statues recognize crosswalks may have “lines or other markings on the surface.”

Also, “Crosswalks” are recognized to exist, whether marked or unmarked, at roadway intersections “within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway.”

Nationwide a variety of engineering solutions are being researched, and put in place, to reduce the incidences of pedestrian/motor vehicle collisions.  Some of these solutions include improved street lighting, refuge islands, additional traffic control devices, and high visibility crosswalks.

It is important motorists recognize that for a variety of reasons they are increasingly sharing the road with pedestrians.  This combination of persons and machine in close proximity to each other has the potential for disastrous results.  Both motorists and pedestrians on public streets need to remain alert for potential and actual hazards.