During my morning walk, two cars traveling north on Main Street blew past me while I was in the middle of the MARKED crosswalk in front of Turnage Drugs.
We pedestrians in Water Valley understand that crossing any street in town – but Main Street in particular – is a dangerous business. This is because motorists (including school bus drivers and city employees) seem to have forgotten some fundamental rules of the road.
So, it is time for Remedial Driver’s Education 101. Here are points from the 2018 Mississippi Driver’s Manual. First thing first, one must understand the definition of intersection.
• Page 18 – intersection is “the place where roads come together or cross. The sidewalk crossings/crosswalks are counted as part of the intersection.”
Next, instructions related to pedestrians:
• Page 21 – “Drivers must always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, EVEN IF THE CROSSWALK IS NOT MARKED.”
• Page 23 – “Any time you travel through an intersection, you must yield to pedestrians.”
• Page 29 – “Remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersections, WHETHER THE CROSSWALK IS MARKED OR NOT.”
• Page 48 – “In crosswalks, pedestrian always have the right-of-way WHETHER THE CROSSWALK IS MARKED OR NOT.”
• Page 51 – in the section entitled Yielding Right-of-Way to Pedestrians: “A person walking across the street, whether or not the crosswalk is marked, ALWAYS HAS THE RIGHT-OF-WAY.”
Everyone who lives here knows there are four marked crosswalks on Main Street. And hopefully, the city will get around to putting up the remainder of the warning signs that were purchased months ago and/or our police department can monitor these areas and issue citations?
In the meantime, please slow down and be prepared to stop for your neighbors on foot. Because if you hit a pedestrian – especially in one of those marked crosswalks – you can be subject to both civil and criminal penalties. Thank you.