Motorists need to lookout for pedestrians
The second death of a pedestrian in less than 30 days ought to be a reminder to motorists and pedestrians alike to be extra careful as the nights get darker earlier.
On Saturday night, a man lost his life when he was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Henderson Avenue and Second Street. Police say witnesses told them the man was in the crosswalk at the time of the incident, but that the driver was not driving too fast.
On Oct. 11, a woman was struck and killed as she was trying to cross Olive Avenue. She was also in the crosswalk.
In both instances, the victims were trying to cross a four-lane roadway in the dark. In both instances, the drivers were not drinking or speeding. They simply did not see the person in the crosswalk and did not yield.
Porterville Police report there have been 19 pedestrian traffic collisions this year, three of those fatal. In 12 of those incidents, failure to yield by the motorists was the cause.
Porterville has several four-lane roadways with numerous uncontrolled crosswalks. At night, many are dark. The scene of Saturday night’s fatal collision is dark and in 2008 a woman was killing crossing Henderson at that very same spot.
However, not all pedestrians are struck at night. That is why motorists need to be more aware and cautious at crosswalks. Remember, the pedestrian has the right of way and you must stop for them if they are stepping off the curb or waiting to step off a curb to cross.
Pedestrians also must use caution, especially when crossing at night and at those uncontrolled four-lane roadways. Be especially careful crossing if a car in one lane has stopped. You must ensure the trailing vehicle is going to stop as well. We know the city cannot ensure that every crosswalk is safe at all times, but hopefully the city can explore new ideas to better light crosswalks and even install the blinking lights that are used at the trail crossings.
Be extra careful when crossing the street, and drivers, slow down and be aware of pedestrians.