Johnson City

Police: Drivers look out for pedestrians

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Painted lines in the roadway and a big yellow sign...That's what most crosswalks look like in Johnson City.
But, is that enough to protect you, when you cross the street? "Two to three pedestrian injuries a month by a  motor vehicle".

Lieutenant Larry Williams with the Johnson City Police Department tells News 5 even though pedestrians have the right of way, that doesn't mean drivers will see them.
"A lot of times the motorist might not see the pedestrian and so they have to be on the lookout also," Lt. Williams says.

We spoke with the owner of East Tennessee Computers on the phone, it's located just off of Spring Street, he tells us he sees near misses with pedestrians and drivers every day.
"80 to 90 percent of our pedestrians are hit in parking lots or on private property. Stepping out from behind a car or something," he continues.

Over at ETSU, new flashing lights are in place, giving extra warning to drivers. But some students say that's not enough, because people are looking at their cell phones instead of the road.
"I know pedestrians have the right of way, but I feel like at the same time your safety is your responsibility. We're in college, you should be able to look both ways before you cross the street. The message can wait," Junior at ETSU, Bianca Baldwin says.
"I see so many people texting and reading text messages while they're crossing the street, and never even looking. So that's becoming a real hazard," Lt. Williams continues.

Police say the most important thing is to pay attention. Whether you are the one behind the wheel or traveling by foot. And make sure you are seen. "Get eye contact with that motorist and visually see that that vehicle is slowing down and that you're 100 percent sure that driver sees you," says Lt. Williams.

Police say if you are walking at night to wear bright or reflective clothing, so drivers can see you.

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