William W. Hurst
Law Office of William W. Hurst, LLC
50 S. Meridian St., Suite 600, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indianapolis’ popular downtown nightlife is no secret, so it’s not surprising downtown has the highest number of pedestrian crashes across Indianapolis, with 76% of them happening at an intersection. The two main causes of these accidents are drivers failing to yield and pedestrians not following crosswalk signals. These dangerous crashes have influenced the Indianapolis Metro Police Department and Health by Design to partner and take action. IMPD will begin monitoring eight busy intersections downtown for the next few months, mainly in the Mass Ave area.
The police department will focus on enforcing speed limits and traffic signals, and will ticket those who do not yield to pedestrians. Drivers should be aware, even when they have a green light, of pedestrian with the right of way. Specifically in the busy Mass Ave area, there are various pedestrian crosswalks that drivers ignore when turning.
Drivers should take extra caution in areas highly populated by pedestrians. The potential of hitting someone is higher downtown than in other places in Indianapolis, as shown by the statistics. Whether you are in a hurry, tired of traffic, or not paying adequate attention, the result could be a grave one. As a driver, you have a metal box protecting as opposed to a pedestrian with no protection. Even when a pedestrian is jaywalking, you must yield to them and avoid putting them in physical danger.
Although vehicles cause more harm to pedestrians than the reverse, pedestrians have responsibilities as well. Pedestrians should follow the crosswalk signals and understand that jaywalking is illegal. IMPD plan on giving verbal warning to those walking and biking who fail to follow traffic signals. Even when pedestrians have the right of way, you should stay alert for oncoming traffic.
We will likely start seeing more police officers downtown strictly enforcing our traffic laws for the next few months. To make downtown Indy a safer place, we need to be more aware of pedestrians and crosswalks.
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