It is always a good rule of thumb to remember that pedestrians have the right of way, even when they do not. Pedestrians are the least secure of those that take the road ways to get from point A to point B. Although there are sidewalks, crossing lanes, lights, laws and everything in-between, pedestrians are regularly involved in accidents in Massachusetts.
In the past month, there have been 12 people hit while walking across the street. The latest victim is an 85-year-old woman who was hit by a car while walking Friday evening. Police report the woman was not using the cross walk when she crossed the street. The woman, who later passed away in the hospital, makes the third person to have died in a car accident involving a pedestrian with-in the last month. Police are continuing to investigate the incident to determine who was at fault in the accident.
In Massachusetts, drivers are required by law to always yield to a person crossing the street in a cross walk or face a $200 fine. Even when pedestrians are not using cross walks, drivers are required to slow down. The rash of pedestrian and cyclist related accidents has caused many to review the safety of the roads.
Although pedestrians often have the right-a-way, it is important that they make themselves seen. The CDC with reports that those 65 and older account for 20 percent of pedestrian deaths in 2012 suggest that individuals carry flash lights and wear reflective clothing when walking at night or early in the morning.
Source: The Republican, "Palmer police respond to car-vs-pedestrian accident on South Main Street; elderly woman hospitalized," Conor Berry, Dec. 19, 2014