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Five Tools That Improve Crosswalk Safety

Maintaining crosswalk safety is increasingly becoming a challenge as the nation’s population rises and communities grow more crowded.  This is especially true in areas like clinics, churches, schools, and hospitals, which have both large numbers of pedestrians and a high presence of children and seniors.  Statistically speaking, these two groups are disproportionately more likely to be involved in foot traffic-related accidents than the rest of the population due to their different physical and cognitive abilities.  The key to preventing such tragedies lies in enhancing visibility and awareness in crosswalk settings, for the benefit of both for motorists and pedestrians.  To accomplish this, the following five safety features are vital:

1. Crosswalk markings – These delineate the area set aside for walkers to cross the road.  They are usually painted yellow, white, or a combination of the two.  These also include traditional measures like permanently mounted crosswalk safety signs.

2. Portable signs/bollards – These can range from hand-held STOP signs used by crossing guards to temporary borders painted in high-visibility colors.  They are usually set in place at a 90-degree angle to approaching traffic.  A STOP sign or other marker is usually prominently displayed.

3. Flashing lights – These devices add an extra level of safety to crosswalks by heightening the awareness of drivers nearing the area.  The on-off-on action of the light readily catches attention more than when static displays are used alone.  They can be either continuously flashing or activated by a push button.

4. Safety vests – These are important for both the wellbeing of crossing guards and those they protect.  As with the other pieces of equipment discussed in this article, they greatly heighten the visibility and the attention of those in the area.

5. Walk/don’t walk signs – These tell both pedestrians and drivers when it’s safe to move forward and when it’s necessary to stop.  They’re most useful in crowded urban areas with lots of foot traffic.

By using these five items, public officials can help to ensure crosswalk safety in their communities and beyond.  Contact Impact Recovery today to find out about our other traffic safety equipment.