The Florida Department of of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reminds us that drivers must be on the lookout for the safety of pedestrians. Here are some suggestions to follow:
- Always look out for pedestrians. Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions like nighttime or bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see and stop for the crossing pedestrians.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street. Follow slower speed limits in school zones and neighborhoods where children are present.
- A vehicle approaching a pedestrian legally crossing the street at an intersection must yield or stop to allow the person walking to cross. This law applies to bicyclists as well as motor vehicle drivers.
- If motorists fail to yield, they face a minimum citation of $164 and three points on their driver license it is the law. Worse, they can severely injury someone – even taking their life.
- All sides of the intersection are crosswalks – marked or not, regardless of whether the sidewalk is paved . The only exception is where a state or local government has explicitly closed a particular crosswalk, placing signage indicating its closure.
- As drivers, you must be prepared to slow or stop anytime – for emergency vehicles, buses, bicyclists, animals, other motorists slowing to turn, and other situations.
- Be extra cautious when backing up—look for pedestrians that may have moved into your path.
For more information on Pedestrian Safety Month, including safety tips for pedestrians and motorists, visit FLHSMV’s Pedestrian Safety webpage.