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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pedestrian Safety and Mapping Traffic Incidents-One Example

Gainesville, FL has created a program to map specific traffic incidents involving pedestrians. The model would be of great help in also identifying bicycle incidents and areas where improvements are needed.

Gainesville and University of Florida police, along with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, have begun a yearlong crackdown to improve pedestrian safety. The motivation for the campaign was this local statistic: nearly three traffic crashes per week involve a pedestrian. Gainesville Police Sgt. Joe Raulerson said the campaign is probably overdue in a city the size of Gainesville.

"What we want to do is to increase the yield rate by drivers for pedestrians to at least 60 percent," Raulerson said. "I think education is going to be a key to that."

Raulerson and others with extensive traffic enforcement experience said they frequently encounter drivers - and pedestrians - who are unclear or unaware of the state laws involved.

In Florida, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians who have entered crosswalks and must stop when necessary to let a pedestrian cross the street, Raulerson said. While many crosswalks are marked, Raulerson said drivers must also yield or stop for pedestrians at intersections without pavement markings.

More on this and the municipal safety program can be found here.

The database of dangerous intersections is here.

1 comment:

  1. Playing devil's advocate, there are studies suggesting that jaywalking is actually, believe it or not, safer than crossing at crosswalks. The reason is probably because people are more vigilant when there is perceived danger.

    With that being said, I hear that the skinny signs in the middle of roads that say "State Law - Yield to Pedestrians" are much more effective than the traditional pedestrian warning sign.