In an effort to raise awareness regarding pedestrian crossings, the Statesville Police Department will be focusing on crosswalk safety in the downtown area in the coming weeks. Pedestrian crosswalks are to be used as a legal, safe and visible way for citizens to cross the street. The Police Department would like to remind everyone of the law pertaining to crosswalks and their use. Pedestrian crosswalks are covered under North Carolina state statute 20-173 which states:
(a) Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at or near an in
(b) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crossing the roadway intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
(c) The driver of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alley, building entrance, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, or person riding a bicycle, approaching on any sidewalk or walkway extending across such alley, building entrance, road, or driveway (1937, c. 407, s. 134; 1973, c. 1330, s. 32.)
Please pay close attention when approaching marked crosswalks in the downtown area. Again, officers will be monitoring these areas and will begin with educating the public either through verbal or written warnings for those who violate any laws pertaining to crosswalks. After the initial education campaign, officers may then start issuing written citations for those violating any crosswalk laws.
Here are some simple reminders that both drivers and pedestrians are to follow at crosswalks:
- Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way in a crosswalk.
- Even though as a pedestrian you have the right of way, make sure vehicles are able to see you. A
good tip is to make eye contact with any driver approaching the crosswalk.
- Keep alert at all times-don’t be distracted by electronic devices.
- Look for cars in all directions – including those turning left or right.
- If the cars near you are stopped for a crosswalk, you should too. There may be someone in the
crossing you cannot see.
- As a driver, slow down and be prepared to stop when entering the area of a crosswalk.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
- Stop a safe distance from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing
- Higher fines may be issued for violating crosswalk laws when the pedestrians are in a
wheelchair/mobility device or when they are carrying an orange safety flag.
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