Walking – it is something most of us take for granted and don’t really think much about. And this time of year, with the cooler weather, many of us take walks for exercise, to walk dogs, or just to stroll the neighborhood and talk with our neighbors.
With all of the cars traveling Keys roadways, there are a few things you should do to stay safe while walking. First and most important, if there is a walking path available, or a sidewalk, use it! Florida law requires a pedestrian to use the sidewalk, walking path or the right of way when walking along a roadway. And pedestrians walking alongside a roadway should ALWAYS walk facing traffic. This way, you can see the cars coming and see if you need to move to avoid being hit. When you come to an intersection, obey all signs and signals. Cross in designated cross walks when possible. If you are crossing in a cross walk that spans two lanes in the same direction, make sure cars in BOTH lanes are stopping for you before you walk across. They are required to stop for a pedestrian in the cross walk, but that doesn’t mean they will.
Prior to stepping into a roadway to cross, make sure you look carefully both ways and don’t cross if it is not safe to do so. When walking, wear light colored clothing, especially at night; and if you are walking after dark, consider carrying a flashlight. Remember, just because you can see a car coming does not mean the driver of the car sees you.
A reminder about sidewalks: pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks. Bicycles using the sidewalk, walking path or right of way must yield to pedestrians and must give an audible warning before overtaking and passing the pedestrian.