DPS says pedestrians must take necessary precautions

DPS says pedestrians must take necessary precautions

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - In just under a week three people have been hit by cars in Wichita Falls, and one of those tragic accidents killed a man in a wheelchair.
Sergeant Dan Buesing, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said even though pedestrians have the right away most of the time, drivers are not always paying attention.

"We have a ton of problems with distractive driving crashes, and again they don't see cars, so it's going to be very tough if you are distracted to see a person," said Trooper Buesing.

He said that is why pedestrians need to use caution before crossing any roadway, rather it be a highway or a regular intersection.

"Even if you're crossing in a designated area, in a crosswalk that's well-lit and well-marked, a driver may be distracted and may not see you," said Trooper Buesing.

Those behind the wheel also need to be on the lookout because sometimes drivers may not see pedestrians until it is too late.

"They may be walking between cars or out from behind a bus, so anytime there's some congestion and pedestrians on the side walk, just be aware that they could be coming across the road in front of you," said Trooper Buesing.

Following the three accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles in Wichita Falls, many took to social media to express their concerns.

One person wrote on Facebook, "I see people crossing the highways here all the time. I've always thought it was risky behavior."

Another commented, "Drivers need to be careful, but when it's dark out, sometimes it does not matter how careful or observant you are."

Trooper Buesing wants people to remember to always try to make eye contact with drivers as you are crossing the road.

"Do not cross until you can see that person in the face and know that they are stopping," said Trooper Buesing.

On Facebook, one woman said she almost hit a pedestrian at night who was wearing dark clothing.

To keep this from happening, wear a shirt or vest with reflectors to help drivers see you, and one should always be worn when going for a late night or early morning run.

As for crossing the freeways, Trooper Buesing said do not cross a highway unless you can find a safe spot to do so, like an intersection.

"Highway traffic is very fast, and it's hard to judge how fast that traffic is moving," said Trooper Buesing.

He said if you must walk on the highway, always walk against traffic, stay on the shoulder and use a sidewalk if there is one.

Drivers can face criminal charges if they hit a pedestrian who is walking in a marked crosswalk, where they are legally supposed to be.

Trooper Buesing said use common sense when driving and walking across the road, and do not forget the simple lessons we teach our kids, look both ways and then look again.

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