A crosswalk, loosely defined, is that portion of a roadway ordinarily included within the prolongation or connection of curb lines and property lines at intersection, or at any portion of a roadway clearly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines on the road surface or by other markings or signs. Crosswalks play an integral part in the safety of the pedestrian, as well as the driver, as it separates the pedestrians from the cars so that both parties may go along their paths safely, without obstruction from the other party.
While there are those without cars, many of these people depend on the use of the crosswalk to move within the society in which they live and the crosswalk should provide a means of safe, clear and efficient pathway, just as the road provides for the driver. However, it is true as well as evident, that both pedestrians as well as drivers misunderstand the purpose and the use of the crosswalk, and it is important that both parties be educated about the issue for the sake of their safety and the efficient production of a working society. Pedestrians as well as drivers abuse the cross walk.
At all times, the crosswalk should be clear and obstacle free, so as to provide a clear pathway for the pedestrian to use. Yet, both drivers and pedestrians take part in placing their garbage the crosswalks of our society, providing an unsafe, unhealthy path for the pedestrian to follow while the roadways are left clear. This garbage also includes huge, obstructive items such as old refrigerators, cupboards, household, as well as office furniture, electrical appliances such as fans and even old car engines which stain the pavement and litter the environment with it’s oils and fluids.
Drivers traveling on the roadways, as well as pedestrians throw their everyday litter such as bottles and wrappers on the pavements, even in the presence of law enforcers. The laws of a country govern a society, but it is evident that both pedestrians, as well as drivers, abuse the very laws, which are there to maintain order in the society. The roadways are made specifically for the passage of vehicles. Yet there are drivers who abuse the use of the roadway and use the pavement for overtaking obstacles in their path, even other functioning vehicles.
In this way, the driver needlessly puts pedestrians at risk, endangering their safety. Another common feature is the use of the pavement as parking space for vehicles, obstructing the safe path of pedestrians. There are even instances where the pedestrian has to overtake illegally parked vehicles by using the busy roadways, putting his life in danger, as well as the busy drivers on the road. The drivers of bicycles also abuse the crosswalk, mainly because of a lack of knowledge of the Highway Code.
It is the law that people traveling on bicycles should do so along the left hand side of the roadway, as close as possible to the crosswalk so as to not obstruct the pedestrian as well as the driver. When bikers use the crosswalk as their own bikeway, they endanger the safety of the pedestrian. Similarly, there are pedestrians who simply ignore the use of the provided crosswalk and walk on the roadways instead. A pedestrian is allowed to talk on the right hand side of the roadway, opposing the traffic, only if a crosswalk does not exist.
Pedestrians especially abuse the crosswalk when they walk in groups of three and more, extending themselves to danger along the roadways. Pedestrians are only allowed to walk in groups of two along the crosswalk. Drivers abuse the use of the painted crosswalks purposefully on the roadways by not allowing pedestrians to use it without obstruction from their vehicles. In cases such as these, the pedestrian has the righter way, but drivers fail to allow pedestrians to use that privilege. It is clear that pedestrians, as well as drivers, abuse the use of crosswalks and they misunderstand their purpose.
It is essential that the public be educated or in some cases, re-educated on the use of the crosswalks. Seminars and group discussions can be held in schools, especially in the workplace and in universities. By doing this, a lot of the pedestrian as well as the driving population can be targeted. Newspapers can print articles pertaining to road safety, reaching a wide circulation of the reading population. Television stations can air educational road safety, as well as pedestrian safety programs, especially during primetime, so that a great amount of people can be educated.
This is even more effective that the newspaper since it presents information in a way that is attractive to viewers, and hence they will be more receptive to it. Radio announcers can advise drivers to exercise caution along roadways, and to also give consideration to pedestrians. Flyers can be handed out to pedestrians as they walk along their paths. Websites pertaining to crosswalk and roadway use can be forwarded freely and quickly using email messages, as well as text messages on cellular phones, thus targeting the massive technologically inclined population.
As one can see, there are many different ways of educating the many different populations of the society, as communication is relatively large, cheap and efficient. The government, as well as the protective services of the society can use this to their advantage in their fight for safety. Both pedestrians and drivers abuse the use and misunderstand the purpose if crosswalks. By re-educating or educating the general public about the issue at hand, the society will benefit tremendously.
Pedestrians will have a safe, clean and healthy path to follow while conducting their normal, everyday lives. Drivers on the other hand will also have a safe path use since pedestrians will use the crosswalk properly and not abuse the crosswalk or the roadway as well. Since both parties benefit, the society will prosper since it is much safer for both parties to inhabit, allowing the people of that society to have productive day as a result of a carefree, safe environment. Hence, everyone wins in the end.