Pedestrians should cross with care
To the editor,
Periodically there are local reports on an accident in which a driver hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Per the law that a pedestrian always has the right of way, the driver is charged, usually with negligence. But, such charges can be unfair: consider the cars parked on 3rd Avenue obstructing the view of pedestrians who step suddenly into the crosswalk. Or the pedestrian who walks between cars where there is no crosswalk. Or the driver stopped at a stop sign, intending to turn, with his view obstructed by a humongous truck.
To be absolutely fair, all pedestrians must stop, look and listen whenever crossing a street. A driver should slow down and use caution in areas where there are obstructions preventing a clear view of a pedestrian. And there is usually nothing a second approaching driver can or should do (i.e. blinking his lights which can 4 mean almost anything and simply confuses both driver and pedestrian) that can effectively alert either party of a potential accident since there is no universal warning sign issued by the state.
We all are fully aware of the injuries that can be inflicted on pedestrians but we are also aware of the pain and distress of drivers who are not truly at fault in such cases, yet they are the ones who suffer unduly with criminal charges.
Please, everyone – pedestrians and drivers alike – be on guard, be watchful and stay safe. And write to your congressman/woman for a change in an unfair law.
– Jean Schmidt, Durango