Pedestrian Safety Issues in Largo
There have been several highly publicized pedestrian fatalities in Largo in the past year. On November 10, 2014, Sarah Arlia and her two children attempted to cross the road at the intersection of Commerce Drive and Missouri Avenue when they were struck by a car. There is no crosswalk and the driver of the car which struck the family of three stated that she did not see the pedestrians in time to brake. Though seriously injured, Ms. Arlia and her 6 year son survived. Tragically, her infant daughter died from the injuries sustained. There have been several other fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Largo recently which highlighted a need for increased awareness on the issue.
Largo Police Receive a Grant from Florida Department of Transportation
The Largo Police Department has received a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation which is to be used to help reduce pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Police officers will be working in teams and focusing on several dangerous intersections. They will be ticketing motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists for violations in an attempt to alter behavior. Additionally, police will be handing out lights for bikes and safety vests for pedestrians. The program, though not permanent, will try to make permanent changes in the behavior of drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
Many Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Crosswalks
Many pedestrian accidents occur in a crosswalk. These accidents are usually the fault of the driver. However, many of these accidents can be avoided by a vigilant pedestrian who is watching for the inattentive or distracted driver. Some of the more frequent ways in which a pedestrian accident may occur include:
1. A driver making a right hand turn strikes a pedestrian who is attempting to cross the street on to which the driver is turning;
2. A driver making a left hand turn strikes a pedestrian who is attempting to cross the street on to which the driver is turning;
3. A driver making a left hand turn strikes a pedestrian who is attempting to cross the street in front of the driver prior to the driver turning left;
4. A driver making a right hand turn on red strikes a pedestrian who is attempting to cross the street from where the driver is turning; and
5. A pedestrian crosses the street in mid-street street crosswalk and the driver fails to yield for the pedestrian and flashing yellow lights.
6. A pedestrian crosses outside any crosswalk and is struck by an oncoming car.
Tips for Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian safety should start young and it should start at home. Young children should be taught to:
1. Whenever possible, use crosswalks;
2. Whenever possible, use sidewalks;
3. When crossing the street, look left, then right and then left again. Make sure all oncoming traffic has stopped, even when walking with a signal, before entering the intersection;
4. Never assume the motorist will stop or yield the right of way;
5. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic;
6. When walking at night wear light colors. Do not wear black;
7. At night carry a flashlight and wear a safety vest; and
8. Always be cognizant of your surroundings.
Another habit of walkers, which I have noticed especially during the busy tourists months occurs in beach areas. Gulf Boulevard in the Indian Rocks Beach, Redington Shores, Madeira Beach, St. Pete Beach communities have all installed flashing crosswalk signs at non-intersection crosswalks. These are wonderful and should prevent many accidents when used properly. However, I have noticed that many pedestrians simply do not understand how to use these devices. When the button is pressed, the crosswalk signs immediately begin flashing to alert drivers to yield the right of way to the pedestrians and bicyclists. I have noticed that a disturbing number of pedestrians simply push the button and immediately begin crossing the road without checking for oncoming motorists. Pedestrians should still check for motorists which are too close to the crosswalk to stop when the signs are activated. Just yesterday, I saw two joggers actually push the walk button and jog across the street without ever breaking stride where they were nearly struck by an oncoming car that was no more than 20 feet from the crosswalk when the safety signs were activated. Pedestrians have to allow time for cars that are too close to the crosswalk to stop time to pass before attempting to cross the road.
Contact Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707