I don’t know about you, but I get tired of either waiting at a crosswalk to cross because drivers will not follow the law or almost being run over by drivers that look through you as if you don’t exist.
Clarion’s population rides heavily on the university’s enrollment numbers. Clarion University students are “residents” of the town during the academic year (and sometimes the summer if said students stick around). Due to these points, I feel that there needs to be active enforcement of Pennsylvania Title 75 Section 3542 (a) regarding pedestrian and vehicle interaction. This section reads as follows:
“At non-controlled intersections, vehicles shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”
This means anywhere there is a crosswalk on Greenville Avenue (regardless of whether the white lines for said crosswalks are painted on the roadway or not– since the pavers did not get around to painting the lines right after they were done paving), cars are required by law to stop for any and all pedestrians in any of the crosswalks. I use Greenville Avenue as an example because I was almost struck by an older man in a pickup truck a few weeks ago; he waved at me, but never slowed down. Any and all streets that run through campus are included in this law, as are all intersections in town and any other town in the state of Pennsylvania. The penalty for drivers who do not abide by this law is a fine of $50 (plus any extra costs involved) and two points added to their driver’s license. But how does this law (and others) get enforced so that the dangers of invisibility stop?
Many towns in the area (including mine) have signs that are placed in the middle of the intersections on the double yellow lines stating, “State Law Stop for [picture of pedestrian] within Crosswalk.” These signs range in price from $69.95 to $520.75 on the internet in just the quick search I did on Bing.com. I would think that grants may be available for universities to be able to purchase some of these signs for the safety of their students. The first place I would try looking is here.
Another way that would wake drivers up to this law is the enforcement by University police and Borough police. Having these two departments monitor the busier intersections on the busier streets that coincide with the university, and the issuance of warnings to start with to drivers who are clearly in violation (this includes university students), I feel would send a message to the community that students (and other pedestrians) aren’t standing at the crosswalk because there isn’t anything better to do; we are waiting for our right-of-way that we have yet to find.