Streets are for cars and sidewalks are for people - if it were only this simple. On many occasions vehicles and people must cross paths, hopefully in a safe manner. Vehicles must turn into driveways and in so doing have to drive over sidewalks and pedestrians have to cross streets to get to where they are going. The Chenango County Traffic Safety Board reminds motorists and pedestrians of the need to respect each other's rights of way. Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that pedestrians are among the most vulnerable users of our streets and roads. The NHTSA numbers show that male pedestrians are more likely to die or be injured in a motor vehicle accident than female pedestrians. And the rate of pedestrian death generally increases with age. Similarly, children are at greater risk of injury or death from traffic accidents involving pedestrians due to their small size, their lack of experience, judging distances, speeds, and their lack of experience with traffic rules.
Motorists should remember to always be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially when turning into driveways and parking lots. Pedestrians should be absolutely confident that drivers are aware of their presence and waiting to make sure vehicles come to a complete stop to allow for pedestrian to cross at appropriate locations.
The Chenango County Traffic Safety Board would like to dispel some myths regarding the interaction between motorists and pedestrians.
First, pedestrians only have right of way to cross a street at a designated crosswalk. Motor vehicles are required to stop for a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk; this is the rule in a nutshell. There are some roads and streets that have no marked crosswalk. In those cases pedestrians should cross at an intersection in a straight line as if the sidewalk extends onto the pave roadway.