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Whether driving or walking: Watch where you’re going

Staff Report • Jan 28, 2013 at 8:45 AM

A number of accidents at pedestrian walkways have prompted officials at East Tennessee State University to install bright yellow flashing signs at crosswalks on campus.

The solar-powered signs are designed to remind motorists to watch for pedestrians at these crossings.

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.

There are also a few important tips that pedestrians should follow as well, such as always crossing the road legally by using a crosswalk, paying attention to their surroundings by looking both ways before crossing the road and wearing light colors and reflective material at night.

Looking where you are going is always good advice, regardless of youe mode of transportation. We suspect that many of the accidents at crosswalks at ETSU could have been prevented had the pedestrian, or the driver or both not been texting or talking on a cell phone.

The ETSU campus is not the only place 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 heed the speed limit and be mindful of pedestrians, especially when they are making turns.

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