As winter approaches, the Traffic and Safety Committee of Rexburg is concerned about pedestrian safety.
“Lately, there have been several accidents between vehicles and pedestrians,” said Dee Dee Tucker, administrative assistant to the City of Rexburg, in an article called, “Sharing the Road Update.” “This time of year, it is very important that we all work together to ensure safety for all.”
The Rexburg City Council is concerned about personal responsibility pedestrians are taking as well as drivers.
“No matter what we do, if you jump out of the crosswalk in front of us on some ice, there’s nothing we can do,” Tucker said.
Many crosswalks in Rexburg have flashing beacons to alert drivers to pedestrians within the crosswalk.
Tucker said the beacons are there to save lives, but many people just push the button and run across, when sometimes it is necessary to wait for them to work.
She said jaywalking has become an issue that is not limited to just students, but also professors.
“Any pedestrian who crosses, or attempts to cross a public roadway at any point other than a designated crossing, within the City of Rexburg, shall be guilty of an infraction,” according to City Ordinance 867.
Tucker said it is important for pedestrians to make eye contact with drivers.
“I think that people need to watch out for cars more than they do because people just walk,” said Austin Woodland, a freshman studying accounting. “Because, when I drive, people just walk across the sidewalks without even looking.”
Tucker said skateboarders are supposed to step off their skateboards and walk through crosswalks.
“If you fail to do your job and enter the crosswalk safely, then you are as liable as the person that hit you, or almost more liable because you didn’t give them an opportunity to not hit you,” Tucker said.
Tucker said there have been problems with speeding through school zones, especially at elementary and junior high school zones.
Tucker said, people need to remember where speed limit signs are.
She said several streets in the city have a 25 mph speed limit because at some point someone died there.
“A Rexburg citizen came to present some concerns with speeding,” said City Council Member Jordan Busby at City council. “They, the Traffic and Safety Committee, are planning to use traffic counters that Public Works Director John Millar has recently purchased and seek help from the Rexburg Police Department to patrol the area of First North.”
Tucker said recently she was on her way to a school when a boy on a bicycle pulled out in front of her.
“I never even saw him,” Tucker said. “And I hit him on the bike.”
She said although the boy was fine, it impacted her greatly.
“I’ve never been hit by a car, but hitting someone was the most horrific thing I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Tucker said. “I still struggle with that. I mean, we don’t want anybody to have to deal with living with having taken a life.”
Tucker said in order to make people more aware of traffic safety laws, the city of Rexburg is going to be posting videos and updates on pedestrian safety on the city’s Facebook page.
“Most of the time, cars are smart enough to stop when they see a pedestrian, but when I’m driving, sometimes you feel like sometimes you don’t see a pedestrian in time,” said Lucas Fekete, a freshman studying civil engineering. “Sometimes when I’m driving I think like, ‘Oh gosh, if there were only stoplights here.’”
Tucker said the main concern of the city is to make people aware of traffic and safety laws. Sometimes, they are more complex than people think.