The Texas climate is often conducive to an evening stroll, whether for physical fitness or the sheer enjoyment of walking outdoors. Whose job is it to make sure that a pedestrian is safe when crossing a road? Many citizens have recently claimed that they believe the government should put forth more effort when it comes to making the roads a safe place for foot-travel.
A husband and wife in Victoria were both injured on a recent Monday night after being struck by a sport utility vehicle while crossing the 1300 block of East Red River during their daily walk together. A neighbor reported that the couple started walking every day after the husband had begun dialysis treatments. She said that they were very careful to look both ways before crossing a street. The neighbor added that the couple wore clothing of light colors while walking.
A responding police officer stated that the couple was taken to a nearby hospital. Reports indicate that the husband was in good condition, but the wife was transferred to a surgical intensive care unit at a military medical center. Reportedly, the incident is the fourth such accident in the area since September. On a road a couple miles away, two deaths have been reported due to people being hit by vehicles while crossing the street, and one person in another nearby area is said to have suffered a brain injury after being struck by a moving vehicle while she was walking.
A Public Works Director stated that the city has no plan to implement any further traffic surveys even though the number of accidents has risen in the area. One 72-year-old resident who rides a bike on the roads said that he believes improvements are necessary and that the city could do more to help citizens maintain safety while walking or traveling by bike. He suggested that adding lighting to the areas would help.
The representative from Public Works said that it is the responsibility of the pedestrian to follow street regulations and be proactive in keeping themselves safe. In Texas, being struck by a vehicle while on foot might give cause to filing a personal injury claim in a court of law. If such a claim were successful, the injured party could be awarded compensation that might help alleviate any medical bills or other financial losses incurred during recovery.
Source: victoriaadvocate.com, “Residents worry about pedestrian safety in their neighborhoods“, Bianca Montes, Dec.30, 2014