Bartow is the hub of Polk County’s business; because of this we have a lot of crosswalks. Some 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 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 who enter into a marked crosswalk intending to cross the road. At the same time, all other motorists 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 a crosswalk, that it is OK to walk out in front of a car. Motorists are required to stop if you are already in that portion of the crosswalk closest to them, but at the same time, you cannot expect a car to be stopped when you step off the curb. We both have responsibilities.
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.