Have you ever stood in a crosswalk just waiting to get to the other side of a street? There is one busy intersection on our daily trek that we struggle to cross almost every time. Today, I counted over a dozen cars that blew by us, oblivious to their obligation to stop. Drivers really should pay attention to crosswalks and make every effort to stop for people to cross the street.
First of all, in the state of Massachusetts, it’s the law to stop at crosswalks whether or not there is a special sign in the middle of the road. Despite the glaring signs, usually attached to an orange cone, many drivers ignore the request to stop. I’m not sure how many people are actually aware of the law based on my frustrated experiences!
Drivers should also stop at crosswalks because it’s a safe practice. People traveling on foot are far more vulnerable than people traveling in the comfort of heavy metal boxes shaped as automobiles! Unlike those operating cars, walkers aren’t protected when traveling on foot.
Most of all, automobile drivers should stop at crosswalks because it’s the kind, neighborly thing to do. If you see an owner waiting with her sitting dog, shouldn’t you want to help them out? How about a family with small children and a stroller? Be kind. Be neighborly. Stop and let those on foot have the right of way.
Next time you see someone in a crosswalk, be a leader. Stop or remind the driver of your car to stop. The walkers in the world will thank you and you’ll be glad you did.