Lets Talk About Crosswalks: Beaufort to Host Awareness Event Tuesday

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Do you always stop your car when you see pedestrians walking across the road? What if they’re in the other lane, giving you time to drive by before they reach yours?

What if you see pedestrians patiently waiting at a crosswalk? What if they’re approaching the crosswalk, but they aren’t quite in the road yet?

What if there is no crosswalk at all?

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Most of us have probably made less-than-safe decisions in situations like these, whether we want to admit it or not. You know the thought process: “I’ll just zip through before they get to me, it’ll be fine!” or “They’re already waiting, they can wait until I’m through.”

From 11 am to 1 pm Tuesday, Oct. 15, the Town of Beaufort will hold an event at the intersection of Turner and Front streets to remind all citizens – not just drivers – about crosswalk laws and best practices for situations like those listed above.

“This educational awareness campaign is just as much for our pedestrian traffic as it is for our vehicular traffic,” said Beaufort Police Chief Paul Burdette.

It just so happens that Oct. 15 is White Cane Awareness Day, a yearly event celebrated by the National Federation of the Blind. White Cane Awareness Day aims to educate sighted people about how white canes work and what they should do when they see someone using a white cane – including in a crosswalk situation.

Beaufort Parks & Rec Advisory Board member Peter Crumley, who is blind and uses a white cane and leader dog, will be at the event to share his first hand knowledge.

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“The blind must rely on special learned orientation and mobility skills to remain independently mobile, along with an uncertain level of faith that the driving public will completely yield the right of way when a blind walker is making a street crossing at a designated crosswalk as traffic is required to remained stop in both directions until the blind walker has successfully completed crossing the street,” Crumley said.

Beaufort was named a Watch For Me NC community for 2019. Watch for Me NC delivers hands-on training to law enforcement, technical assistance and safety tools to partnering communities.