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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Carolina Beach Police Beat: Crosswalk Safety

Carolina Beach Police Beat: Crosswalk Safety

By STEVE STANTON
Carolina Beach Police Advisory Cmt.

CAROLINA BEACH -  Crosswalk safety has recently become a much discussed issue across the state of North Carolina and within Carolina Beach. 
Over 2,200 pedestrians are injured or killed on streets in the Tarheel State each year by autos. Carolina Beach, especially in its Central Business District (CBD), has several marked pedestrian crosswalks.  Although the busy tourist season is over and pedestrian traffic is diminished, the crosswalk laws always remain intact.
There are distinct laws regarding marked crosswalks, unmarked crosswalks and crosswalks with signals.  Each has a responsibility for the driver and the pedestrian.
In crosswalks that are unmarked, pedestrians have the right of way once they start to cross.  Drivers must yield to the pedestrian.
In crosswalks that are marked, normally with white blocks running across the street, drivers must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.  A common conflict regarding the pedestrian right of way occurs at the marked crosswalk near the intersection of Atlanta and S. Lake Park Blvd.  Drivers must yield to pedestrians as they cross at this point.
The crosswalk intersections on Lake Park Blvd and Winner, Harper and Cape Fear are intersections with special “Walk” and Don’t Walk” signals. Pedestrians crossing with special pedestrian signals have the right of way just as they do with a green light.  The law does require a driver to use the horn when a pedestrian may be affected by a turning vehicle and the pedestrian is crossing against the signal or traffic light. Safe drivers always give the pedestrian the right of way, whether the pedestrian is correct or not.  Drivers and pedestrians both need to be mindful the responsibilities they both have in keeping Carolina Beach accident free for walkers and drivers.  Drivers in the CBD need to mindful of the speed limit and watching for pedestrians that may or may not know the law.
The next meeting of the Carolina Beach Police Advisory Committee will be conducted on Monday, February 3rd in the rear Conference Room, at the back of Town Hall.  Residents are welcome to bring their concerns to the meeting.