PURCELLVILLE, Va. August 17, 2016 – As the beginning of the school year approaches, the Town of Purcellville Police Department (PPD) would like to remind pedestrians and drivers about important tips for pedestrian safety. This effort is part of a larger campaign, called “Operation Heads-Up,” that reminds both pedestrians and drivers to pay extra attention.
• Pedestrians have a responsibility to cross streets at appropriate locations. This may include signalized intersections, marked crosswalks, or unmarked crossings at intersections. Crossing a street mid-block (except in a marked crosswalk) is against the law and extremely dangerous. In order to encourage safe pedestrian habits, the PPD will begin issuing warnings to pedestrians that unlawfully cross streets.
• Pedestrians must remember that vehicles require appropriate distances to stop, even at slow rates of speed. It is the responsibility of the pedestrian to use caution and care when crossing streets to ensure that drivers have enough time to stop.
• Pedestrians must be mindful of the driver’s view being obstructed. It is the responsibility of the pedestrian not to “dart out” into traffic, and it is best to make eye contact with the driver. A pedestrian should be mindful of the difficulty to see a pedestrian when there is street parking and other various distractors.
• Drivers are required to stop for pedestrians that are lawfully crossing a street. This is the law. However, drivers are not required to stop for pedestrians who have yet to enter a crosswalk. Doing so may impeded traffic and cause other traffic issues.
• When making a turn, drivers must yield to pedestrians who are lawfully crossing the street. This requires drivers to pay attention to road signage, other vehicles, pedestrian activity, and ensure their view of the pedestrian is not blocked by their vehicle’s support beam/side view mirror. It is best for the driver to make eye contact with the pedestrian.
• Proper use of vehicular signals by drivers helps other drivers and pedestrians understand a driver’s intentions. Please use your turn signals (or hand signals).
• It is against the law in Virginia to operate a motor vehicle while using a handheld personal communication device to manually enter text for the purpose of communicating with another person or to read an email or text on the device. Distracted driving is a significant cause of accidents, and texting/emailing while driving is against the law!
Pedestrians and drivers are more distracted than ever, with the increase of electronic devices, signage along roads, and traffic. Everyone should be extra vigilant – and keep their heads up! – while driving through Town to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safely.