Today we celebrate our independence here in the states. But with independence and freedom comes responsibility, and that's what I want to write about today. Specifically, the responsibility of knowing what the Oregon Driver's Manual says about pedestrians and driving safely!!!!!!!!!
...sorry, this is a sore spot for me.
I don't know what the Driver's Manual for other states is, but let me give those in my own home state a brief review.
For drivers to know
1) Pedestrians typically have right of way. Some of us yield it to the big heavy cars and trucks, but we still have it. So give it to us!
2) Do not block any part of a cross walk with your vehicle when your car is stopped. This can cause a dangerous situation for pedestrians who are trying to cross the road.
3) There is a crosswalk at all intersections regardless of whether it is actually marked.
4) Don't start moving until the pedestrian has "cleared your lane", and "If you are turning at a signal, you must wait until pedestrians clear the lane you are turning in to, plus 6 feet of the next lane."
(Yes, I had to resort to quoting, never mind paraphrasing.)
If you want to review the info for yourself, the relevant pages are 79-80. Just two small pages. It isn't much!
For pedestrians to know
Here are just a few of the main problems I see, which are also addressed in the Driver's Manual.
1) Stop, look, and listen. I thought we learned this as kids? This means, don't suddenly walk into the road when cars are coming. Very unsafe!
2) Dress to bee seen. Wear bright or reflective clothing at night.
3) Do what the pedestrian crosswalk signs say!!! If you cross when they say not to, you'll probably mess up traffic.
4) Use the sidewalk if there is one. If not, walk at the left side of the road so you face oncoming traffic.
5) You don't have right of way when you aren't at an intersection.
Relevant pages are 81-2. Don't worry, it's actually less than a page total. And the info there could keep you alive.
Yes, two of my major pet peeves are...
1) Drivers who make life difficult for pedestrians.
2) Pedestrians who make life difficult for drivers.
These pet peeves would disappear if people would follow the rules and play nice.
Happy Independence Day! Play nice and use your freedom responsibly. :)