Yet another ped hit

In what appears to be another disturbing manifestation of the interaction between vehicles and humans, a pedestrian was reportedly struck by a motor vehicle in the 400 block of East Market Street, according to the Emergency Communications Center. The incident was reported shortly before midnight Saturday, January 17, and no additional details were provided.


I appreciate the attention the Hook is giving to this issue. There were swarms of people crossing Water Street last night and many in black. If it weren't for my daughter pointing to a figure stepping into the crosswalk at Water and Second St. there could easily have been 2 pedestrians hit last night. This article reminds me once again that in the downtown area, the corner and all around the University I need to slow down and be much more careful.

A car may get a slight dent if it hits a pedestrian. A pedestrian may die. People crossing the street need to be careful and look for oncoming cars and, if there is one coming, NOT assume that the car will stop. Although the laws of the commonwealth may be on the pedestrian's side, the laws of physics are not.

Hey, I totally agree, if you are of a dark color, you should wear a reflective strip on your clothes so everyone can see you and see what you are up to so you don't get hit by a car.

Maybe the city should give out flashing stobe belts and make them mandatory for the predestrians of Cville so we can see them and when they are in our back alleys we will know they are there and won't chance hitting them with our cars.

Maybe the city could offer more bus services or make it mandatory for people to give walkers rides.

Just last night I was driving in the downtown area on Market an Water streets. I am Not a big fan of C'ville
ofor many reasons. But it dawned on me why the violent crime rate is so high in C'ville and the rate oof pedestrian accidents is where it is. There is is very little if any street light in this town, once you step off the mall are, your in the dark,literally.
I applaud what the city has done at the intersection of 10th & Page as far as lighting but that effort needs to continue throughout the city.

Perhaps the city police should stop preaching in press releases that the pedestrian has the right of way and cars -WILL- stop. It encourages some pedestrians to step into the crosswalk with a smirk on their face.

And Billybob, state code 46.2-924 also says "No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic." This means a pedestrian could possibly share in the negligence in their getting hit.

At 4:45 p.m today a small girl on a cell phone and oblivious to her surroundings, possibly a UVA student, stepped into a crosswalk on Jefferson Park Avenue with no regard to traffic whatsoever. A car locked up their brakes to avoid hitting her. It was just one more case where a pedestrian stepped into a crosswalk when the driver was 10 feet from the crosswalk. Had she been struck I would have stopped and given the driver my information, my daughter's informaion, and my daughter's friend's information for his insurance company. All of us would have given statements to his insurance company that the girl was paying no attention whatsoever and was on a cell phone.

Some people just do not seem to understand how different visibility is for drivers at night compared to during the day. I wish they'd learn. I think many of the people I see recklessly stepping out into the street at night also drive, so this is very perplexing. When I drive around the Mall, especially at night, I exercise extreme caution because I know that some people just do not seem to understand that at night they can be virtually invisible, especially with poor lighting. I don't want to hit anyone so I am very watchful. Sure, it's the pedestrians responsibility to watch out but I still don't want to hit anyone and so I am very careful and so I haven't hit anyone. I approach the crosswalks on Market and Water with great caution. The one near the Landmark construction is definitely one to slow down at and look for careless pedestrians heading back to their cars from the Mall, sometimes after a few drinks. I don't know how to get people to understand how difficult it can be to see them at night but I do know that I haven't hit anybody even though I have seen people doing stupid things. The only practical thing to do, as a driver, is to watch out and slow down.

I already know how to cross the street at night and I know how to cross the street safely and legally even when there is oncoming traffic. If a driver sees a pedestrian and they have the time and distance, they stop. Cars are not mindless hunks of steel. They have drivers and the drivers do control them. Pedestrians are becoming more assertive and unfortunately some are reckless. Not me though, and when I drive I'm watching out for those that are reckless. Please try to do the same.

Kevin Cox

Thanks for your comments Kevin. I don't think we can do much to change the behavior of pedestrians and at times I'm guilty of being an absent minded one myself. But if I did hit someone with my car I would have a very difficult time forgiving myself even if it wasn't my fault. It's as much for my own peace of mind that I plan to exercise extreme caution after my near miss last night.

Betty, there lies the problem... the ones who have had a close call now exercise extreme caution. Those who have not had a close call don't feel they need to. Because they aren't expecting so many pedestrians to be so reckless in their behavior just because it's been embossed in their minds that they have the right of way.

Have you ever seen a public service announcement, press release or city police interview warning pedestrians that a car can not stop on a dime? Have you ever seen a public service announcement, press release or city police interview asking pedestrians to look before stepping into a crosswalk? The only public service announcements, press releases or city police interview I have ever seen locally are those telling pedestrians they have the right of way and to feel free to step into crosswalks at will.

Believe it or not, it's not "common sense" to some people that a vehicle can not stop in 6 feet from 20 mph.

I have never seen nor heard ANY public service announcement anywhere that tells people that they should, "feel free to step into crosswalks at will." Your claim that such ads exist is false. There is an ad on the local radio stations now that makes it clear that pedestrians and drivers both need to pay attention. Try to be reasonable.
Kevin Cox

"Tyrone" you're a coward and a phony. You "knead" to get a life and quit posting stupid, racist trolls.

Betty, that crosswalk at Water & 2nd, and several along that stretch of roadway, is/are very dangerous at night (especially if it's raining). There is no street lighting in that area and the angle of the hill makes it such that headlights don't shine directly on pedestrians until you're practically on top of them. The lighting in that spot (and perhaps in others?) really should be addressed.

Kevin, I never listen to the radio. It's the year 2009. Most people burn their own compact discs and play them on the vehicle's CD player. A lot of people also have iPod sync in newer cars, or added to older cars. They can carry unlimited music to the roadways with them. And the rest have subscribed to satellite radio. Am radio and FM radio are now dinosaurs.

I suppose I am basing my opinion totally on city police interviews I have seen on the local TV stations. They always left me with the impression that they were telling people to feel free to step into a crosswalk, it's your right and cars will by law stop!

When I walk at night I always treat cars as though I am completely invisible unless I am totally certain that drivers do see me and that they are stopping. Visiblility is too poor at night, especially in the rain, so it's up to pedestrains to act as though they really are invisible. It's a matter of survival. Still, there are situations where the driver has the time and sees me and is slowing down but I must still be assertive before they will continue to slow the car down to a complete halt and allow me to pass. Many drivers do not want to stop and will force pedestrians that they see in a crosswalk to stop while they drive by them even though the driver had the time, distance and responsiblity to stop. They'll see the pedestrian and slow down but if the pedestrian hesitates or slows even slightly the driver will take their foot off the brake and accelerate through the intersection. It's a deliberate choice made by drivers. For what? It gains the drivers a fraction of a second that they immediately lose at the next stoplight.