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Pedestrian Safety: Tips to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents

While recently attending a Kissimmee community groups monthly meeting, citizens complained of vehicles speeding through their residential neighborhoods. Residents described large trucks rushing over rather large speed bumps and their concerns for the safety of playing children and pedestrians in their community. These residents presented very valid concerns, as pedestrian accidents are increasing around Central Florida. Florida Statute 316.003, section (49) defines a “Pedestrian” as “Any person afoot.”1 As of April 17, 2018, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, “Crash and Citation Reports & Statistics,” website reports Osceola County having thirty-two (32) pedestrian crashes, one (1) pedestrian fatality, twenty-five (25) bicycle crashes and two (2) bicycle fatalities.2
Drivers also have certain obligations while operating their vehicles. As a driver in Florida, it is important to remember Florida Statute 316.130 “Pedestrians; traffic regulations.” Specifically, 316.130 section (15) instructs drivers to exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child. Exercising due care includes:
1.    Observing the posted speed limits;
2.    Noticing changes in speed in school zones;
3.    Stopping at traffic signals without entering the crosswalk;
4.    Pay attention! Avoid driving and doing other things like using cell phones and texting;
5.    Reducing speed in residential areas; and
6.    Yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians.
Additionally, pedestrians have to follow certain laws as well. Some safety tips for pedestrians to remember include:
1.    Know and obey traffic signals, rules and laws;
2.    Be alert! It is important to avoid distractions such as cell phones and listening to loud music;
3.    Ensure that you are visible! Wearing clothing that allows you to be seen by drivers is vital;
4.    Walking facing traffic helps to make pedestrians more visible to drivers;
5.    Use the sidewalks; and
6.    Avoid intoxication! Intoxication can impair your ability to make sound decisions, affect your response time and overall functionality.
Ultimately, we all have to share the roads and have a duty to ourselves and each other to ensure that everyone remains safe. The chances of increasing the safety of our citizens, neighborhoods and our community is improved by considering these tips.