ATLANTA -- Pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise in Georgia, and police say they’re consistently encounter drivers who are unaware of the state’s crosswalk laws.
11Alive’s Commuter Dude has heard many complaints from pedestrians about drivers who refuse to stop for pedestrians in painted crosswalks across the metro area. In an attempt to educate drivers, he spent time with Sally Flocks, head of the advocacy group PEDS.
“It’s not just an issue of understanding,” says Flocks. “It’s an issue of, are they aggressive?”
At Peachtree and 13th Street, the spot where famed author Margaret Mitchell was struck and killed by a car in 1949, there are big yellow signs pointing to bold white stripes. Georgia law says drivers must stop for anyone in the crosswalk.
Drivers and pedestrians both have responsibilities, according to the law.
For example, pedestrians must give approaching drivers room to stop before entering a crosswalk.
“You’re not allowed to step into the crosswalk so quickly and abruptly that a driver would not be able to stop,” says Flocks.
Once there’s an adequate gap in traffic, all you have to do is place one foot on the painted stripes, and you’re considered in the crosswalk, according to Flocks. Police confirm at that point, drivers should stop for you.
According to state law, drivers in your lane and the lane you’re approaching should stop.