Bartow is the hub of county business. Because of this, we have a lot of crosswalks. Some of our crosswalks are located in areas that are not directly associated with an intersection, and at least one is mid-block. Crosswalks are established by the city government for pedestrian traffic so that they may safely navigate vehicle traffic in strategic locations.
When approaching a designated crosswalk, both the driver of a vehicle and the pedestrian have responsibilities. State Law dictates the actions of motorists and pedestrians at this location under Florida State Statute 316.130.
Under this law, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians that enter into a marked crosswalk intending to cross the road. At the same time, all other motorists who are behind this stopped vehicle for a pedestrian shall not pass. The same statute dictates pedestrians must not “ … suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.” All of this having been said … drivers please yield to pedestrians in our crosswalks, and pedestrians DO NOT ASSUME that just because you have the right of way, that it is OK to just walk out in front of a car.
What is the moral of our lesson today? Simple, make good choices, drive courteously and pay close attention to what you are doing whether it be walking or driving. That way we can all go home to our families safe and sound.