Pedestrians & Intersection Safety
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable on Florida roadways. That is why the government at the state and federal levels have taken steps to increase safety through passing laws and recommendations that protect pedestrians at intersections. The Florida Statutes have very specific requirements for pedestrians and motorists at intersections.
Motorists are charged under the law to be aware of pedestrians and do everything possible to avoid a collision. However, pedestrians also must obey the law and try to avoid being in the roadway when it is not safe. Pedestrians should never cross at an intersection with traffic lights anywhere except in the crosswalk. In addition, it is illegal to cross an intersection diagonally unless directed to by law enforcement or a traffic signal. Pedestrians must also follow all traffic signals when crossing at intersections.
The Federal Highway Administration works to provide localities with ideas on how to make intersections safer for pedestrians. These include suggests on design intersections that provide clear views for pedestrians and have safety features. Safety features may include crosswalks, walk/don’t walk signals and better illumination of curbs and walkways.
The FHWA also recommends removing or addressing issues with wide pedestrian crossings. The wider the roadway to be crossed the increased chance of accidents involving pedestrians. Crossings can be shortened by adding curb extensions to each side of the street where the sidewalks extend out into the roadway. Another option is to install refuge islands in the roadway. These concrete areas are usually in the middle of a roadway that is especially wide. They allow a place for pedestrians to stop and wait when there is not enough time to cross the whole road at one time.