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News Story
Updated: 11/13/2013 08:00:03AM

Watch your step

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Bartow Police Chief Joseph Hall

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The smooth flow of traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian is a constant issue for government. In cities like Bartow, the likelihood of increased pedestrian traffic is very high. If you live or work in the downtown area, you are within walking distance of almost everything. On the other hand, you can get from one side of Bartow to the other pretty quickly by walking as well. So, it would be reasonable to assume that pedestrian rules are important to us.

For the most part, and to keep it simple, the law requires that where sidewalks are located it is a violation for pedestrians to walk on or in a roadway meant for vehicular traffic. There are times when sidewalks are not available; during these times Florida law requires that pedestrians walk on the shoulder of the road and facing traffic as they walk.

Of course, there are going to be times when it is impossible to follow these rules, so the law does allow some minor exceptions when it is simply impossible to walk anywhere other than the roadway.

Pedestrian rules are fairly easy to remember. Walkers, joggers and the like are required to utilize sidewalks and the shoulder of the roadways, unless it is just impossible to do so.

Furthermore, when crossing roadways designed for vehicular travel, you must do so at right angles, using crosswalks where provided and yield to vehicular traffic operating legally on the road. Sidewalks are for pedestrians and roads are for cars … it’s that simple.

Understanding the rules of the road and making good choices is the most important tip we at the Bartow Police Department can provide.

You can find the rules and laws I’ve discussed today in Florida State Statute 316.130, “Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations.”

We are in this thing together! Let’s make our roadways safer for everyone to use.

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