As another construction season heats up, city officials remind motorists and pedestrians that cooperation and common sense are needed to assure safety when traveling through intersections, particularly in the busy downtown area.
The reminder follows a recent close call in which a pedestrian was nearly struck by a vehicle while crossing the street at an intersection.
In addition to obeying laws governing motorists and pedestrians, said Bellevue Police Lt. Timothy Thibert, the best way to stay safe is to follow the same common-sense advice taught to the city’s motorcycle and bicycle officers: be predictable and act like you’re invisible.
“Whether walking or driving through an intersection, be predictable so people know what you are going to do and act like they don’t see you. If everyone did that, there would be a lot fewer accidents,” said Thibert, with the department’s traffic unit.
Pedestrians should avoid jaywalking, stay on the sidewalk and follow signs posted at construction sites. If you see a pedestrian having trouble at an intersection, ask if he or she needs some help.
Drivers should observe the speed limit, not get caught in an intersection after the light turns red, watch for signs associated with construction work and yield to pedestrians. Thibert noted that drivers are required to give pedestrians crossing a street the lane they’re in plus one additional lane before proceeding.
While car-pedestrian accidents have increased slightly downtown due to the higher traffic volumes and numerous construction projects, the accident rate still is comparatively low. Thibert attributes Bellevue’s numbers to a “triple E” approach to traffic safety: engineering (installing speed bumps or adjusting traffic lights, for example), education and enforcement.
An added incentive for pedestrians and drivers to stay safe on the street is to avoid fines. A ticket for jaywalking will set you back $58; for drivers, failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian carries a fine of $112.
Return to News Release Index