Make sure you can see and be seen - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Make sure you can see and be seen

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January 17, 2007

Albany--  A warning  for drivers and pedestrians on South Georgia streets.  Be careful. On Tuesday, an Albany woman was injured as she and her three young children tried to cross the street. Safety officials say many crashes involving pedestrians can be avoided if both drivers and walkers are careful.    

Fast cars against walking feet aren't always the safest combination. What can start out as a simple walk home can turn out much differently.

"That's something to be aware of," said Michele DeMott with Albany Safe Communities. On Tuesday, police say 22-year-old Katarrah Harris and her three children were crossing Broad Avenue when she was hit by 22-year-old Kimberly Brown. Albany Police charged Brown with failure to yield the right of way.  However, Michele DeMott with Albany Safe communities says the driver isn't always at fault.

"We have found that more often than not, the pedestrian is at fault," said DeMott. DeMott says many times a pedestrian walks out from between two cars or steps off the curb in front of a moving vehicle. There are also other safety problems.

"We often see pedestrians who are out late, very late wearing dark colored clothing and you're simply not visible," said DeMott.  

Another concern is crossing walks and the lack of people actually using them. Safety leaders say they're there for a reason.

"Take advantage of it. It's there for you," said DeMott. Safety begins with you, both the driver and pedestrian. Drivers should always be on the lookout and pedestrians should make sure they can see and be seen at all times.

"The safest place to walk if you don't have a sidewalk is walking against traffic so that you can see vehicles that are coming towards you and they can see you more easily," said DeMott.

It could make a difference in the number of crashes between those driving on four wheels and those walking on two feet.

Another tip for pedestrians to keep in mind is to wear reflective clothing when walking late at night. Also, if you're walking in a group, walk one in front of the other rather than side by side.

Harris, the woman hit Tuesday, did not receive any life-threatening injuries. She has been released from the hospital.  Her three children also were not seriously hurt.

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