Driving through Wilton Center? Better brush up on your awareness of what’s around you, including pedestrians, crosswalks and speed limits.
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve pedestrian safety in Wilton Center, the Wilton Police Department is currently conducting a two-week pedestrian safety enforcement operation that will focus on motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians as well as speeding violations.
The department is conducting this public awareness and enforcement program to educate and encourage members of the community to develop and maintain safe practices while driving, walking and cycling throughout Wilton Center.
The two-week operation will take place between Sept. 4-17, at heavily traveled crosswalks located throughout Wilton Center. Officers dressed in plain clothes will be crossing the street while uniformed officers monitor the crosswalk for motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way and pedestrians who take unsafe actions. Drivers and pedestrians stopped during this safety operation will be issued warnings or citations.
According to Wilton Police Chief John Lynch, crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right-of-way laws to both drivers and pedestrians.
“This pedestrian safety operation is another tool our department can utilize to improve traffic safety and educate motorists. When approaching a crosswalk where pedestrians are present, drivers must yield the right-of-way. This operation will serve as a reminder of this responsibility and we expect that voluntary compliance will be improved as a result. Those who choose to ignore the law and the message, however, will be deterred from future violations through enforcement. As is the case with any other traffic law, it is easy to avoid a ticket–in this case, simply yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are in a crosswalk.”
A reminder to vehicle operators and pedestrians alike that Connecticut General Statute 14-300(c) states, “each operator of a vehicle shall grant the right-of-way, and slow or stop such vehicle if necessary to so grant the right-of-way, to any pedestrian crossing the roadway within such crosswalk, provided such pedestrian steps off the curb or into the crosswalk at the entrance to a crosswalk or is within that half of the roadway upon which such operator of a vehicle is traveling, or such pedestrian steps off the curb or into the crosswalk at the entrance to a crosswalk or is crossing the roadway within such crosswalk from that half of the roadway upon which such operator is not traveling.”
Police philosophy is that, “Ensuring pedestrian safety on our roads is a shared responsibility between motorists and pedestrians.”