To the editor:
As the Pedestrian Safety Campaign moves forward, we would like to thank all the participants who attended the community rally, especially those attendees who identified problem intersections and proposed solutions for our crosswalks.
During the week of July 17-24, local citizens will observe driver, pedestrian and bicyclist behavior at intersections in Marshall and will compile a summary of the findings. These observations will be presented to city officials to facilitate steps toward a safer community.
As a reminder, the 1996 Minnesota Law on pedestrian safety includes the following points:
Stop for pedestrians who are ready to enter or who have entered a crosswalk, whether the intersection is marked or unmarked. The crosswalk exists from sidewalk to sidewalk, even if lines are not painted on the street.
If you are turning at an intersection, make your turn only after all pedestrians have cleared your lane.
After you have stopped for pedestrians in a crosswalk, it is legal to proceed after all pedestrians have passed your lane.
When a vehicle is stopped at an intersection to allow pedestrians to cross, drivers of other vehicles approaching from the rear must not pass the stopped vehicle(s).
Stop behind the stop bar at intersections.
Stop before the sidewalk when emerging from an alley or driveway.
Keep distractions to a minimum-eliminate cell phone use, texting and ear buds.
Before backing up, check for children, adults, bicyclists, and people in electric scooters or wheelchairs.
Obey the speed limit. Most streets in Marshall have a 30 mph speed limit. A pedestrian's chance of death if hit by a vehicle is 15 percent at 20 mph, 45% at 30 mph, and 85% at 40 mph.
Note: If drivers stop while the pedestrians cross the entire crosswalk, it draws the attention of other drivers and makes crossing safer for the pedestrians!
Thank you to all the Marshall area citizens for making the city safer and more enjoyable for everyone!