Multiple people hit by cars this week, police offer pedestrian safety tips
SPOKANE, Wash. — Starting Wednesday night, over the course of about 4 hours, two people were hit by cars in Spokane and Spokane Valley.
Washington State Patrol said a man who was not in a crosswalk was hit by a car on Boone and Pines at 9 p.m. Wednesday and Spokane Police are investigating a hit and run on South Wall reported at 1:30 a.m. Thursday. In light of the accidents, police and local volunteers are warning everyone on the roads — whether you’re walking or driving — to be patient and slow down.
They’re reminders you’ve probably heard before, but law enforcement says it’s time for a much-needed reminder, especially since it’s getting darker earlier at night as we near winter. That reminder goes both ways.
“It’s really imperative for both the pedestrian and the car driver to really be on the lookout,” says John O’Brien with the Spokane Police Department.
With winter on the way, Patrick Striker with Spokane C.O.P.S. says it’s important to stand out as you bundle up. He says if you’re walking at night, you should wear light-colored clothing.
“Make sure it’s reflective, if you’re able, but definitely light clothes if you’re walking at night, don’t wear anything dark,” Striker said. “It just makes you less visible.”
To make sure you aren’t catching drivers off guard, use cross walks. But pay attention.
“Don’t cross just in a random spot, because then drivers aren’t expecting you,” Striker says. “As soon as the light turns green, or whatever, they’re just going and turning and not being aware that there’s a person there waiting to cross.”
“Try to make eye contact with cars that are approaching, just kind of give you that connection with the driver that they see you and they’re going to stop,” O’Brien says.
O’Brien says if you aren’t using a crosswalk, take time to make sure cars notice you before crossing the street.
“[You] just can’t step off the curb into the roadway without giving a driver sufficient time to stop,” O’Brien says.
And Striker says when in doubt, stop for pedestrians.
“Even if you’re not sure that they have the right of way or you’re pretty sure they don’t, because they’re crossing at the wrong place, play it safe,” Striker says. “Just stop. Let them go. It’s not worth a couple seconds of your time trying to get ahead of them when they’re going so just stop and wait.”
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