Pedestrians: Be careful when crossing, watch out for hazard lights
Many Barbadians woke up to the painful news that a visitor died in a road accident last evening.
An occurrence that no doubt brought back tearful memories for those who have lost loved ones in such tragic situations, especially when they were on a pedestrian crossing as in this case.
As persons raised concern about how this could happen, Loop News reached out to the Royal Barbados Police Force on this matter.
While Sergeant Seibert Johnson stressed that we should all play a part in making our roads safer, he warned persons seeking to cross the road that they should proceed with extreme caution even when they are at a pedestrian crossing:
"It is still a duty of care for the pedestrians to make sure that nothing is coming from either direction before they proceed to cross the road.
"Even if you are at a pedestrian crossing you must be careful and make sure nothing is coming from the right or the left - watch that all vehicles have stopped before you start to cross."
One area of concern highlighted was the use of hazard lights when motorists are stopping for pedestrians to cross.
The traffic cop noted that this is a Barbadian practice and urged pedestrians to be very careful in such situations:
"It's a Barbadian thing - it is not done internationally.
"Some people when they see flashing lights think it's an emergency or that it's a problem with the vehicle and go to overtake, but you should be cautious if doing so."
He urged pedestrians to be careful, especially when they see hazard lights on:
"The duty of care is on the pedestrian to make sure that nothing is overtaking that vehicle with flashing lights before they proceed to cross."
"Whether you are at a pedestrian crossing or not, once all vehicles around you have stopped, look to your right, left and right again before you decide to cross the road to make sure it is safe to go."
Why should you do this?
Many of us would have heard those words from a young age, however when you take a look around at persons trying to cross the road it may seem like everyone did not get that memo growing up.
Motorists on your right-hand side will be closest to you when you want to cross the road, so you should start by looking right.
Once that side is clear you then check to see if traffic on the left is clear as well, but as things may have changed in the short time you were looking left, check your right again to make sure all traffic coming from that direction has stopped - including vehicles in a position to overtake the car to your immediate right.
Sergeant Johnson also had a message for motorists when approaching and attempting to overtake vehicles with hazard lights on:
"Let common sense prevail. Once you see hazard lights flashing, slow down considerably to make sure no one is crossing in front of that vehicle before you overtake."
He however noted that "pedestrians must be vigilant in this situations to make sure the road is clear."
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