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PennDOT urges motorists, pedestrians to follow rules of the road

| Sunday, March 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Because of a spate of incidents throughout Northeast Pennsylvania over the past several months, transportation and law enforcement officials are reminding pedestrians and motorists to be aware of — and follow — the rules of the roads and crosswalks.

State Department of Transportation safety press officer Michael Taluto and bicycle/pedestrian coordinator April Hannon, Lackawanna County Highway Safety Program coordinator Kathy Fox and Cpl. Richard Bachman of the Scranton Police Department's highway unit held a news conference on Friday in front of Scranton City Hall at the busy intersection of North Washington Avenue and Mulberry Street.

Last month, a block away at North Washington Avenue at Linden Street, a woman was killed while crossing Linden Street outside of a crosswalk.

Also last month, a man was hurt when he was struck while standing on a Moosic Street sidewalk in South Scranton, and a boy was injured when he ran onto Jackson Street in West Scranton.

There also have been vehicle/pedestrian collisions in Luzerne County in recent months, Taluto said.

“There's been a rash of them over the past six months,” said Taluto, noting PennDOT has a website, www.justdrivepa.org, devoted to pedestrian and motorist safety tips.

The officials displayed a “Yield to Pedestrian Channelizing Device” road sign — the kind commonly placed in the middle of roads to alert motorists that they must yield to pedestrians. Hannon said those signs are effective.

“When they (motorists) see them, they tend to slow down,” she said. “They could get a ticket if they don't yield.”

Pedestrians also often are inattentive or jaywalk, the officials said.

“I think our biggest problem is pedestrians are not crossing at intersections,” Bachman said. “They're not paying attention. They just casually walk out. Drivers have got to pay attention, too. All it takes is a split second and you're in a crash.”

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