Pedestrian Fatalities Up Sharply in Minnesota
Last year at this time, the death toll for pedestrians was 14. This year, it's 23. One Minnesota community hopes new signs will help keep its walkers safer.
In-street pedestrian crossing signs (see photo) are being installed around the City of Eden Prairie. Last week, drivers saw them on Dell Road at the Regional Trail Crossing, on Technology Drive west of Purgatory Creek, and on Anderson Lakes Parkway west of Franlo Road. This week they'll be moved to new locations.
"Each year the City receives a number of complaints regarding the failure of drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians," said City Manger Rick Getschow. "These new signs will be used to raise awareness and remind the public of state laws."
"Motorists must treat every corner and intersection as a crosswalk, whether it's marked or unmarked, and drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians," said an Eden Prairie Police Department spokesperson.
With school starting, more kids will be out walking.
"For that reason, the Police Department will be adding enhanced crosswalk enforcement during the month of September," said Sergeant Tom Lowery.
The burden of safety, said Lowery, does not fall solely on drivers.
"Pedestrians and bicyclists must be mindful that they cannot always be seen, and they should not enter a crosswalk when it isn't possible for a driver to safely yield to them," said Lowery. "The best way to navigate a street crossing is to make eye contact with motorists before entering the crosswalk.