Ask a trooper: Pedestrians should be aware of traffic despite right-of-wayE-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
Q: I know the Minnesota pedestrian law says that pedestrians in crosswalks have right-of-way; and I totally agree. My concern is that many times I see people jay-walking in the middle of the block, quite often parents hanging onto kids and they are expecting traffic to stop for them. Unfortunately, most times traffic continues past because they are not in a crosswalk, which leaves the pedestrians in a serious danger zone. Second issue: Perhaps people should be reminded of personal safety when riding bikes or walking along roadways with no sidewalks. Many times lately, I have seen bikes going against traffic and pedestrians walking with traffic, both of which are exactly opposite to personal safety.
A: You are correct as for Minnesota law stating that pedestrians have the right-of-way, but I’d really like to emphasize that pedestrian safety is a two-way street. Minnesota law and good common senses states:
To address your second safety issue you have that correct also. Bicyclists must:
Pedestrians are reminded to walk facing traffic. Each year in Minnesota, about 30 pedestrians and 10 bicyclists are killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles. These types of collisions are preventable and do not need to be part of the annual reality. Increasing awareness of pedestrian safety will help reduce
pedestrian-vehicle crashes, as well as reduce the fatalities and serious injuries that result from these crashes.
Bicyclists and motorists are equally responsible for safety. Many factors contribute to crashes, including inattention and distractions. For more information please check out sharetheroadmn.org.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.