Wisconsin Pedestrian Safety Month: 'Safe drivers can prevent tragedies'

Walk sign

Wisconsin State Patrol is offering a reminder on Monday, Oct. 3 that this month is Pedestrian Safety Month.

According to a news release, an average of 53 pedestrians are killed and about 1,300 are hurt in crashes every year in Wisconsin.

A pedestrian is injured every ten minutes in crashes across the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Wisconsin State Patrol’s October Law of the Month focuses on pedestrian safety to reduce needless crashes and prevent injuries and deaths.

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"Dusk starts to arrive earlier this time of year, which makes it harder to see pedestrians who are out walking," Superintendent Tim Carnahan said. "Pedestrian Safety Month is an opportunity to re-evaluate how you drive to make sure you’re sharing the road safely with all users. Safe drivers can prevent tragedies on the roads."

Wisconsin State laws aim to keep people safe by creating protective space for pedestrians to cross streets.

Drivers should remember to:

  • Yield to pedestrians in a sidewalk, alley, or driveway
  • Yield to pedestrians who have started crossing at an intersection or crosswalk on a walk signal or a green light
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing the highway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection where there are no traffic lights or control signals
  • Not overtake nor pass a vehicle that stops at an intersection or crosswalk for a pedestrian or bicyclist

Pedestrians are required to:

  • Yield to drivers when crossing a road where there is no intersection or crosswalk, or where the pedestrian does not have a walk signal and vehicles have a green signal
  • Not suddenly move into the path of a closely approaching vehicle that does not have sufficient time to yield​
  • Walk on the left side of a road when not on a sidewalk

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As families head out for Halloween activities later this month, drivers will need an enhanced awareness of their surroundings.

Find guidance for teaching children about safe walking on the WisDOT website.