Pedestrian, crosswalk safety continuing problem across Tampa Bay

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s an issue that continues to affect drivers and pedestrians across Tampa Bay; people getting hit in crosswalks.

In the City of Tampa, there are 40 crosswalks with flashing lights. Despite the signage, lights and speed bumps people are still getting hit across the area.

In St. Petersburg on Sept. 19, a woman is killed after she’s hit by an SUV.

Halloween night, 6-year-old Dominick Keyes is hit by a truck in New Port Richey. Luckily he is back home recovering.

In St. Pete on Nov. 1, a video shows the moment a cyclist is hit by a car as he crosses 49th St. at the Pinellas Trail. He survives with only some broken bones.

All these crashes have one thing in common: the victims were using crosswalks.

“You’re not even going to bother to stop? I go through. I see the first one. ‘You’re not going to stop?’ When I looked down, I’m on him. He’s on me. That’s it,” said Steven Weldon, who was hit on his bike crossing 49th Street.

Authorities say drivers have the responsibility to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. And that’s not all.

“If you’re driving a vehicle and you hit somebody or think you hit someone you have to stop and try to help and call 911. That is your responsibility,” said Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Petersburg Police.

Pedestrians and cyclists also need to do their part to stay safe.

“When you reach a crosswalk, if you’re walking or you’re a bicyclist, even if you think you have the right of way, it’s smart to make sure that the traffic sees you and that they’ve stopped. You have the most to lose here,” said Fernandez.

In Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor just launched a new initiative to make crosswalks safer for pedestrians and more visible to drivers.

“To go from having 200 fatalities in our community a year to zero, that is an incredible, incredible goal for us to reach for and achieve but I have no doubt we will be able to do it,” said Mayor Castor.

Mayor Castor said Tampa is one of the worst cities in the country for pedestrian fatalities.

Meanwhile, police continue to look for the hit and run driver of a white sedan involved in the St. Pete crash.

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