Tips for Pedestrian Safety By the Street Smart campaign
Tips for Drivers
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections – it's the law
- Don't block crosswalks when stopping at intersections
- Slow down and obey the posted speed limit
- Take extra care around schools, playgrounds and neighborhoods
- Always look out for pedestrians, especially before turning at a green light or making a "right turn on red"
- Obey speed limits, signs, signals and markings – never run a red light
- Be careful when passing stopped vehicles as they might be stopping for pedestrians
- Allow three (3) feet when passing bicyclists
- Share the road. It's your responsibility to look out for others.
Tips for Pedestrians
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections whenever possible
- Stop and look every time before crossing streets, even when you have the right-of-way, and especially at intersections with "right turn on red"
- Before crossing look left, right, then left again, and over your shoulder for turning vehicles
- Begin crossing the street on "walk" signals – never on a solid or flashing "don't walk"
- Use pedestrian pushbuttons to activate/extend the walk signal
- Use sidewalks. If none, walk facing traffic so you see vehicles, and drivers see you
- Make eye contact with drivers, so they see you. Never assume they do
- Stay visible after dark and in bad weather with a reflector or retro-reflective clothing
Special Tips for Children
- Stop at the edge of parked cars, the curb or other vehicles
- Look LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT for moving cars
- Cross when clear, and keep looking left and right
- Walk, not run or dart, into the street
- Look for signs that a car is about to move (e.g., rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheels turning)
Take this quiz
Q. Does a green light mean that it is safe to cross?
A. NO. While you may be allowed to walk if you have a green light or white pedestrian walk signal, you must still look both ways. Turning vehicles may not see you!
Q. Is it always safe to cross in a crosswalk?
A. NO. It is never okay to assume that you are safe in a crosswalk. You must always check the signal and look both ways to ensure the coast is clear. Drivers have been known to run red lights.
Q. Does wearing white or brightly colored clothing make you visible to drivers at night?
A. NO. Wearing white or bright blue does not guarantee safety and drivers may still find it difficult to see you or their line of sight could be blocked. Be sure to wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
Q. Do pedestrians always have the right-of-way?
A. NO. Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way. You must obey traffic crossing signals, don't jay-walk and don't dart out into traffic.
Find out more about Montgomery County’s Pedestrian Safety program here.