Crosswalks and Pedestrian Safety

Notice regarding crosswalk safety:

 

The streets and sidewalks around the Salisbury University campus are frequently busy with motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Crosswalks are established in the area to provide safety zones for pedestrians. In recent years, the crosswalks along Camden Avenue have been enhanced with the additional visual markings.  In addition to the standard markings, the crosswalk on S. Division Street at Onley Road has pedestrian activated lights to warn motorists that a pedestrian is attempting to cross the road.  Pedestrians wishing to cross must first press the button to activate the flashing lights.  Once activated, the lights flash for 20 seconds.  Before entering the crosswalk, pedestrians should make sure that all vehicles have come to a complete stop.

 

Please review the following myths & facts regarding pedestrian rules-of-the-road:

 

 Myth vs. Reality

 MYTH #1:  Pedestrians always have the right-of-way.

 

 REALITY:   No, not always.  Legally, pedestrians have the right-of-way at controlled intersections and in marked crosswalks; but the law also states that "no pedestrian shall unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk." The pedestrian must give the motorist the right-of-way at all areas other than marked crosswalks and controlled intersections.

 

A motorist is required to bring his vehicle to a complete stop when a pedestrian is crossing in the crosswalk of the roadway and remain stopped until the pedestrian has cleared the lane (half of the roadway) in which the vehicle is traveling.

 

Remember, if you are on a bicycle, you are a vehicle subject to traffic laws, not a pedestrian.  Cyclists should dismount and walk across if they wish to use a crosswalk at a busy intersection.

 

 MYTH #2:   You are safe in a crosswalk.

 

 REALITY:   Painted lines do not protect you from harm, even if you have the legal right of way.  This is particularly important at crosswalks without a traffic signal or stop sign.

 

Pedestrians have a specific duty to exercise care, caution, and good judgment for their protection. They should not leave a curb or other place of safety unless there is adequate distance for a motorist to stop and yield.

 

 MYTH #3:   A green light or walk signal means "Go".

 

REALITY:   A green light or walk signal indicates that it is your turn to cross, but first make sure that the intersection is clear and watch for red light runners.  Also, make sure that any right-turning cars will yield to you.

 

 MYTH #4:   If you see the driver, the driver sees you.

 

 REALITY:   The driver may not see you in time to stop, particularly if you are coming from the right and he is looking left for oncoming cars.  To be safe, make eye contact with any driver whose path will cross yours, and proceed only when certain the car will stop.  On multi-lane roads, do not start across until vehicles in all lanes have stopped.  If there is a median, make separate decisions about crossing each direction of traffic.

 

 Pedestrians on the Roadway

Where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian may not walk along and on an adjacent roadway.  Where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian may only walk on the left side of the roadway as near as practicable to the edge of the roadway, facing approaching traffic.

 

Regardless of who has the right-of-way, pedestrians, bicyclist and motorists are responsible for using reasonable care and diligence to avoid injuring anyone who, although carelessly, may be in the other's right-of-way.

 

Chief Edwin L. Lashley

University Police

ellashley@salisbury.edu