MOUNT LEBANON (KDKA) — Thousands of pedestrians are hit and killed by cars each year.
It’s up to walkers and drivers to pay attention to each other, and it’s state law to stop for someone in a crosswalk. But as we found out, that law is often broken.READ MORE: Car Flips Onto Its Roof On 40th Street Bridge
The signs are clear. Yield to pedestrians.
“Some people just don’t pay attention,” says Ann Mussori, a pedestrian.
But those bright yellow signs aren’t always enough to get people to stop.
KDKA’s Susan Koeppen: “Do you know that it’s state law you are supposed to stop if someone is stepping out into the crosswalk?
“You learn that in Drivers Ed 101,” says Mike Rocco, a pedestrian
Koeppen: “So, what about the fact that people aren’t stopping?”
Rocco: “They’re in a hurry.”READ MORE: Police Recover Drugs, Money, And Stolen Guns From Residence In Homewood
Mount Lebanon has seen its fair share of pedestrians being hit by cars; some of those collisions are fatal. The township spent $65,000 installing a crosswalk along Washington Road.
“Wait until you have a nice break in traffic, step out and take control, and make your crossing,” says Lt. Duane Fisher, of Mount Lebanon Police. “At that point, cars should yield, and if they don’t yield, we will take care of it from there.”
Mount Lebanon is making pedestrian safety a priority, each year it puts up a dozen signs provided by the state. Also, officers go undercover trying to catch drivers who fail to yield.
“We do a lot of enforcement,” says Lt. Fisher. “We actually nicknamed the detail ‘Frogger’ after the ‘80s video game. We’ll have plainclothes officers or we will just go to a crosswalk where people are routinely in situations where vehicles don’t yield and observe, and then chase cars, pull them over and issue citations.”
Safety experts agree pedestrians should never assume cars will see them attempting to get across the street.
“You gotta stop and make sure they are stopped, because like I said, some people don’t stop, they just keep on coming,” said Mussori.
Under state law, cars only need to stop if you are actively in the crosswalk, not if you are standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross. Drivers who disobey the law can get a fine and points on their license.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Nursing Home Deaths Fueling Blame