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Pay attention on roadways, whether driving or walking

Staff Report • Feb 6, 2012 at 8:27 AM

A number of accidents involving pedestrians have prompted officials at East Tennessee State University to issue the following advice to both those afoot and those behind the wheel of a moving vehicle: Stop, look and listen. 

ETSU Public Safety Chief Jack Cotrel told Press staff writer Rex Barber last week that six pedestrians have been struck by vehicles in the past few months on campus. That’s why university officials have advised pedestrians to follow a few important tips, including crossing the road legally by using crosswalks, paying attention to their surroundings by looking both ways before crossing the road and wearing light colors and reflective material at night.

Drivers should be aware of their surroundings and slow down at crosswalks. They should also slow down whenever their vision is obscured by weather or other factors, and never pass vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians.

The campus of ETSU is not the only place where these rules should be followed. It’s no secret that many Johnson City streets are not very pedestrian friendly. Some of the city’s oldest and most populated neighborhoods still lack sidewalks.

Even in areas where the city has tried to improve the ability of pedestrians to get around safely, there is still much left to do. Needed are raised crosswalks, sufficient lighting and traffic lights that are properly timed with pedestrian crossing signals.

Pedestrians should make sure they follow all the safety rules at crosswalks before stepping into the street. Motorists also need to drive the speed limit downtown and be mindful of pedestrians, especially when they are making turns.

Too many drivers seem content to exceed the speed limit, not only on the interstate, but on residential streets as well.

Many offenders don’t stop to consider that their careless action can result in injury or even death to a pedestrian or another driver.

That’s why the Johnson City Police Department is reminding motorists to slow down and pay attention to their surroundings as they travel through city neighborhoods.

Officers also are cautioning drivers to be mindful that the speed limit for all residential streets in Johnson City is 25 mph.

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