Pedestrian Safety a Major Concern for Newtown Residents

An article published on Patch.com surveyed Newtown residents about their safety concerns for the coming summer months. While concerns varied from water safety issues to snake bites, many people voiced their thoughts about pedestrian safety and the fears that they have walking around town. The following considers some of those concerns, as well as some pedestrian safety tips in Newtown this summer:

Concerns About Pedestrian Safety in Newtown

From the driver’s perspective, one resident wrote in to Patch to express concerns about pedestrians not knowing when they have the right of way. The resident wrote that regardless of whether the pedestrian has the right of way, he should still look before crossing the street and never step into traffic.

Note: To be clear, pedestrians have the right-of-way when they are in a crosswalk (marked or unmarked), as long as they are following traffic signals. A pedestrian always has the right of way in a crosswalk not managed by traffic lights or signals. Drivers must yield and may not overtake another driver who is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross.

From a walker’s perspective, another respondent said that being a pedestrian is a nerve-wracking experience, and that when trying to cross at Newtown Yardley Road, “people could care less if you have children with you.”

Another person simply said that there is lack of caution when it comes to pedestrians, which could mean that both drivers and pedestrians fail to act as cautiously as they could to prevent an accident from occurring.

How to Keep Yourself Safe this Summer

Whether you are a pedestrian or a driver, no one wants to be involved in a pedestrian-vehicle crash. As such, there are things that everyone can do to improve safety.

For Drivers:

If you are a driver, keep the following in mind.

  • Pedestrians do not always pay attention. Exercise extra diligence when driving in highly foot-trafficked areas.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Drive more slowly when lighting is poor.
  • Always drive sober.
  • Put any distractions away.

For Pedestrians:

For pedestrians, many of the same rules apply, including the following.

  • Put distractions away. Many pedestrian injuries occur because the walker is distracted, often by a cell phone.
  • Do not assume that a driver will stop, even if you have the right of way.
  • Make eye contact with drivers when crossing. Even though you have the right-of-way when crossing at a crosswalk (when you have a walk signal), always be vigilant and never expect a driver to yield to you.
  • Wear bright colors to improve your visibility to other drivers.
  • Walk, don’t run, when crossing streets.

For more ways to stay safe while walking around Newtown this summer, check out our blog, article library, and news library. We stay up to date on anything that might affect Pennsylvania residents so you will be the first to know.