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Environmental Health & Safety

Pedestrian Safety

In the last few weeks, EH&S has received a number of reports of pedestrians nearly being struck by cars while using the crosswalks on East Drive. The same issue has been noted at other locations around the Medical Center and on River Campus. Some pedestrians have been reported walking with their heads down while texting on their cell phones or crossing against the light with the expectation that traffic will stop if they are in the crosswalk.

Did you know that a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes and one is killed every two hours? Common reasons include pedestrians walking in the street, jay-walking, crossing against the light, and generally not paying attention. What can you do?

Tips for Drivers

  • Remember, you can encounter pedestrians anytime and anywhere - even in places where they are not supposed to be found.
  • Pedestrians can be very hard to see - especially in bad weather or at night. You must keep a lookout and slow down if you can't see clearly.
  • When entering a crosswalk area, drive slowly and be prepared to stop.
  • Stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, even if it is not marked. When you stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, stop well back so that drivers in the other lanes can also see the pedestrian in time to stop.
  • Do not overtake and pass other vehicles stopped for pedestrians.
  • When you are turning, you often will have to wait for a "gap" in traffic. Be aware that while you are watching for that "gap," pedestrians may have moved into your intended path.

Tips for Pedestrians

  • Use sidewalks where provided. Cross or enter streets where it is legal and safe to do so. Cross only at intersections and crosswalks and only with a green light and walk signal. Just because you are in a crosswalk, don't assume cars will stop!
  • Look left, right and left again for traffic before stepping off the curb.
  • Be alert and aware when you are crossing the street. Do not be distracted by cell phones, PDAs or headsets.
  • Where no sidewalks are provided, it is usually safer and preferred to walk facing road traffic.
  • Make it easy for drivers to see you - dress in light colors and wear retro-reflective material. It is wise to carry a flashlight in dark areas.
  • Be wary. Most drivers are nice people, but don't count on them paying attention. Watch out - make eye contact to be sure they see you!
  • Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely, just like they do a person's ability to drive.
  • Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.

Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 6/16/2016. Disclaimer.