People and Crosswalks in Carlisle

Jun 01

Well, now that it’s summer in downtown Carlisle the drivers around town, especially in the vicinity of Dickinson College, can now relax a small bit knowing that most of the college kids have gone home for the summer. Why am I saying this you ask? Well, the simple answer is the college kids have no concept of how to walk safely through the crosswalks in and around the college. They think that they can walk right out into the crosswalk and vehicular traffic will stop for them. Most of the time this is the case, however I can recall on at least 2 occasions within the last year that there have been people hit in the crosswalks. Now, before anyone starts complaining to me saying that pedestrians have the right of way, I’d like to refer you to the following points in the PA Driver/Pedestrian Laws…

Title 75 Chapter 35 Section 3542. Right-of-way of pedestrians in crosswalks.

(a) General rule.ā€”When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

(b) Exercise of care by pedestrian.ā€”No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard.

To my feeble brain, what the above states is that if a car comes upon someone who is already in the act of crossing in a designated crosswalk the driver of the vehicle must allow that person to safely walk across the roadway. However, the second part which I highlighted in red, states that if there is a car so close to a crosswalk that they can not safely stop the pedestrian MUST wait for the car to pass.

Now, this is where the problem lies, College students pay no attention to subsection B… I can’t tell you how many times in the several years I’ve lived near the college that I’ve had to either lay on the horn or jam on the brakes of my truck to stop from hitting one (or a group) of them while they either talk on their cell phones, talk to friends or listen to their MP3 players and walk blindly into the intersection without even a glance either way. It seems to me that they must think they are invincible or a several thousand pound vehicle going 25 miles an hour (or more) can stop on a dime. Let me tell you this, I know for a fact that my Chevy Equinox can not stop on a dime and I would pay good money to have a vehicle which would.

What is it going to take to stop this from occurring? I hope it doesn’t take a death of a student to bring this to a head, but I have a really bad feeling that will happen within the next few years. What can the college do to make this stop? I say public awareness, make the students aware that the crosswalks are there for their protection but yet they need to use their heads before walking into them. I hope something happens soon, before something bad actually happens.

Until Later…

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