Pedestrian Safety

REMINDER: Remember that, despite state law, YOU are most responsible for your own safety!

Pedestrian Safety – Best Practices

  • Cross streets safely. Cross at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Try to make eye contact with oncoming motorists and bicyclists before indicating your intention of crossing in front of them. Do not assume that because you can see the driver, the driver can see you.
  • Cross the street at marked crosswalks or at intersections (this is where you are protected & have right-of-way), and observe traffic-control signals.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross.  Walk, do not run, across the street!
  • Walk or jog on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk or jog facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Be a safe pedestrian around cars. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Yield to motor vehicles and bicyclists when you are not in a crosswalk or are not crossing at an intersection.
  • Stay to the right on shared pathways and avoid walking in “bike only” lanes. Bicyclists my not be looking out for pedestrians.
  • Be observant – be seen – be safe: avoid cell phone use (this includes texting!) when walking in congested areas or crossing streets, wear bright colors and walk in well-lighted areas at night, don’t step into the street from behind an obstruction.

Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers

  • Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
  • Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
  • Cross in a well-lit area at night.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.

Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behaviors

  • Always walk on the sidewalk: If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Stay sober: Walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
  • Don’t assume vehicles will stop: Make eye contact with drivers, don’t just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
  • Don’t rely solely on pedestrian signals: Look before you cross the road.
  • Be alert: Pay attention to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.

Be careful at crossings: look before you step

  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
  • Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON’T WALK signs.
  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
  • Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
  • Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
  • Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone (this includes texting!) while crossing.

Pedestrian Safety for Drivers – Best Practices

Be alert: watch for pedestrians at all times

  • Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians.
  • Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing.
  • Don’t drive distracted or after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
  • Do not use your cell phone while driving.
  • Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians before backing-up, especially small children.
  • For maximum visibility, keep your windshield clean and headlights on.

Be responsible: yield to pedestrians at crossings

  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked.
  • Yield to pedestrians when making right or left turns at intersections.
  • Do not block or park in crosswalks.

Be patient: drive the speed limit and avoid aggressive maneuvers

  • Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
  • Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at STOP signs.
  • Use extra caution when driving near children playing along the street or older pedestrians who may not see or hear you.
  • Always be prepared to stop for pedestrians.