DINA 'Safer Streets' campaign addresses pedestrians
The Daniel Island Neighborhood Association has launched a 12-week campaign to educate the community about issues related to safety. Each week, DINA will share a different safety tip on a specific topic. Previous weeks have focused on bike safety, golf carts, street parking, roundabouts, distracted driving, street humps, fireworks, water safety, home and car safety, speed limits and the city’s Citizens Service Desk.
WEEK #12 - Pedestrians
In Charleston, drivers have an implied duty to protect pedestrians from harm. For example, speed limit laws require not only that drivers obey the speed limit in pedestrian-heavy areas, but that they also proceed at a speed that is “reasonable and prudent under the conditions,” and to “control their speed to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.”
Also, because many pedestrian accidents occur at intersections, South Carolina law requires drivers to approach intersections at an appropriate reduced speed, to activate their turn signals at least 100 yards in advance of an intersection, and always to be on the lookout for pedestrians.
In fact, according to Section 56-5-3230 of South Carolina Pedestrian Law: “Notwithstanding other provisions of any local ordinance, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.”
Stated in South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 56, Chapter 5, pedestrians have just as much responsibility in preventing accidents as drivers do.
-Obey traffic control devices and traffic regulations (Section 56 5 3110)
-Only cross in a designated crosswalk (Section 56 5 3120)
-Stay in a place of safety when a vehicle is close enough to cause a hazard (Section 56 5 3130)
-Use the right half of the crosswalk (Section 56 5 3140)
-Yield to any oncoming vehicles if they are crossing the street outside of a crosswalk (Section 56 5 3150)
-Never cross a road diagonally, unless otherwise directed to do so by traffic signals and/or road signs (Section 56 5 3150)
-Never walk on the roadway when a sidewalk is available (Section 56 5 3160)
-Never walk on a highway, except when necessary, and only then on the shoulder (Section 56 5 3160)
-Walk only on the left side of the roadway if forced to walk along a highway (Section 56 5 3160)
-Yield the right of way to all vehicles if walking along a highway (Section 56 5 3160)
-Yield the right of way to emergency vehicles immediately when it is safe to do so (Section 56 5 3260)
While pedestrians have rules and responsibilities, they also have many rights under the law.
PEDESTRIAN RIGHTS INCLUDE:
-The right to finish crossing the roadway or to cross the roadway if they are close to approaching the intersection when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation (Section 56 5 3130)
-The right to protection from all vehicles approaching the intersection, and not just the vehicle at the front of the line at the intersection (Section 56 5 3130)
-The right to complete safety from vehicles when walking on a sidewalk (Section 56 5 3250)
Finally, it is important to note the City of Charleston ordinance regarding bicycles on sidewalks: If you are permitted to ride on a sidewalk, upon encountering a crosswalk, you must dismount and walk your bicycle across. This is actually safer and affords you more rights as you are now considered pedestrian.
Provided by the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association.