Story by Clarksville Police Department
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Due to current pedestrian traffic crash incidents reported in Clarksville, the Clarksville Police Department wants to make the public aware of Safety Tips and Pedestrian Laws.
In the last two months (December and January) the Clarksville Police Department has investigated four pedestrian traffic crashes, three of which were fatal. Below is a combination of Safety Tips, State Laws, and City Codes in reference to pedestrian traffic.
State Law and City Code
1. Duty of pedestrian. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield (Sec. 9-602. Right-of-way in crosswalks).
2. If there is a sidewalk available, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk or use a wheelchair along and upon an adjacent roadway (TCA 55-8-138 – Pedestrians on Roadways)(Sec. 9-609. Walking along roadways).
3. When a sidewalk is not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction (TCA 55-8-138 – Pedestrians on Roadways)(Sec. 9-609. Walking along roadways).
4. If there is not a crosswalk, or the pedestrian is not within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, no tunnel, or no overhead pedestrian crossing; the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway (TCA 55-8-135 – Crossing at Other Than Crosswalks)(Sec. 9-606. When pedestrian does not have right-of-way).
5. When crossing at an intersection, cross in the direction of the signal (TCA 55-8-111 – Pedestrian-control Signals)(Sec. 9-306. Pedestrian control signals).
The Clarksville Police Department recommends the following safety tips:
1. While walking at night, dark colored clothing can be dangerous. It is easier to be seen at night wearing light colored and/or reflective clothing.
2. If walking or jogging on a roadway and using earphones/headphones, keep the volume low enough that approaching traffic can be heard and please do not use them while crossing a road . Crossing a road safely requires 100% of a person’s attention.
3. Carry a flashlight.
4. Cross the street in well-lit areas at night, preferably an intersection.
5. Stay clear of driver blind spots such as buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so you are easily seen.
6. If you plan on drinking you should take the same precaution as a driver. Plan your trip, stop drinking and sober up before leaving, or have a sober person walk with you.
7. Finally, drivers need to always be aware of pedestrians along the roadway. When you see someone walking on the sidewalk or the shoulder, slow down, cover the brake and be prepared to stop if necessary.
Please use these precautions to assist in both vehicle and pedestrian safety.