When it comes to making our streets safer for people walking, a lot of factors come into play. While most collisions occur outside of a crosswalk, it’s worth noting that drivers fail to yield to people walking in crosswalks as well – it happened twice in this short interview with News 13.
“The first thing we can do is enforcement, law enforcement can enforce both sides,” said Lt. Kim Montes with Florida Highway Patrol. “Until those people get the mentality that both belong on the roadway, it’s not one versus the other, we’re going to continue to have these problems.”
Amanda Day, with Bike/Walk Central Florida, agrees, though she doesn’t want to assign blame to victims when crossing at crosswalks is not always safe.
“Drivers aren’t yielding to people in crosswalks, so why should people use crosswalks? It’s a circular argument,” Day said. “It’s not an either or, it’s a we.”
It’s all about changing driver culture. Gargotta compared the evolution of seat belts to changing behaviors of those driving and walking. “Now our kids have been growing up in car seats, they navigate toward seat belts,” said Lt. Kim Montes about the evolution and normalization of seat belts. It took time, but the change did take place.
Education is a vital piece of the puzzle, and one of the ‘E’s in Best Foot Forward’s Triple E approach to making Central Florida roads safer for those walking. These collisions are preventable.
Check out this great story in the video above and read the full article from News 13 here.