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SPD Home / Safety & Prevention / Pedestrian Safety

PEDESTRIAN SAFETy

Pedestrian Safety

Cross streets only at street corners or marked crosswalks or intersections. 

GENERAL TIPS:

A wealth of additional information about about the City of Seattle Pedestrian Safety program can be found at:

seattle.gov/transportation/pedestrian.htm

IF YOU ARE A PEDESTRIAN:

  • Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid "automatic pilot"
  • Pay special attention to all traffic signals and crossing guards.
  • Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.  Stick to well-lit areas.
  • Pick routes with sidewalks with good lighting and clear visibility.
  • Walk with purpose; project a confident image.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk.  If there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the roadway, always walk facing traffic.
  • Look both directions before crossing a roadway.
  • Never cross the street against a red light, even if you don't see any traffic coming.
  • Plan a safe walking route to school or the bus/transit stop.  Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and if possible, with intersections that have traffic controls.
  • See and be seen — drivers need to see you to avoid you.  Wear bright/light colored clothing or reflective clothing at night so drivers see you.
  • Pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets to ensure they have been seen..
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way when crossing mid-block.  Cross streets only at street corners or marked crosswalks or intersections.  Crossing at locations that have traffic signals helps motorists see you. 
  • Give drivers ample time to stop prior to your entering the crosswalk.
  • Do not run across a dark street to catch a bus; cross at crosswalks or intersections.
  • If a car is parked where you are trying to cross, look for drivers who may pull out and not see you as they looking for traffic.
  • Remember: Telephone poles, utility boxes and parked vehicles block on-coming drivers ability to see you.
  • Arrive early for buses and trains, but not so early that you have a long waiting time.  Stay out of the street and to wait for the bus or light rail train to come to a complete stop before approaching the street.
  • Avoid walking while listening to an IPod or MP-3, Walkman, Discman, etc. with earbuds or headphones; this cuts down your awareness of what’s happening around you and impedes your ability to hear oncoming traffic.
  • Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
  • If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
  • Wear clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus or Light Rail.
  • Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
  • Always hold a child by the hand while crossing the street and remember, WALK don't run.

TIPS FOR DRIVERS

  • Pay attention to and abide by all speed limits.
  • Watch your speed when entering school zones.  Speeding in a school zone is a $189 ticket.
  • Be watchful around schools and bus stops for children running into the street.
  • Watch for children entering the street from behind buses or running to catch the bus.
  • Drive slowly when approaching children riding bicycles and walking near the street.
  • Never pass or overtake a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk.  A pedestrian is probably in that crosswalk.  This infraction is a $124 ticket.
  • Motorists should be on particular alert for pedestrians along school-bus routes, at intersections, and near transit stops and centers.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections, whether in a marked crosswalk or not.
  • Stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks. 
  • On a two-lane road, the pedestrian must be completely across the roadway before you begin moving again.
  • On a multi-lane road, you must stop for pedestrians when they are within one lane of your direction of travel.
  • Always yield to pedestrians upon making turns at intersection
  • Use extra caution when backing out of driveways and driving around parking lots.
  • Always pull to the right and slow or stop to allow emergency vehicles to go by.  Emergency vehicles have either red or blue lights.
  • Don't let your passengers interfere with our driving.
  • Do not drive with distractions (cell phones, eating, etc.)
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone unless you’re using a hands free mode and don’t text message while driving.  It is illegal and you will be ticketed - $124.
  • Headlights should be on at all times; it helps pedestrians and other motorist see you.
  • Look ahead for potential dangers or people in the roadway or crosswalks; shift your attention well ahead of the hood of your car.
  • If another driver becomes aggressive with you don’t engage with them, rather alter your route to get away.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Be aware of weather conditions, such as ice, before starting a trip, and allow ample time to travel.
  • Know your surroundings while you drive, be a good defensive driver.  Think outside your car.
  • Always have ample driving time, try not to be in a rush.  A patient driver is a safe driver.
 
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SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Headquarters: 610 5th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98124-4986
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