October is Pedestrian Safety Month

The Greenwich Police Department will be promoting pedestrian safety for the month of October through public service announcements and increased enforcement throughout town until Halloween.

GPD’s first message for everyone is “Be aware.” It is prudent to be aware of your surroundings and to watch out for pedestrians and bikes if you are driving, and to look out for cars if you are walking, running or biking.

The second message is that it is everyone’s responsibility to be aware of the rules of the road and to obey them. The Greenwich Police Department is going to focus enforcement on violations that typically result in vehicle-pedestrian and vehicle-bike conflicts, including both crashes and close calls.

An important traffic law regarding pedestrian safety is the Passing of a School Bus. The statute requires that when a school bus is displaying flashing side signal lights, all moving traffic shall stop, whether traveling in the same or opposite direction of the bus. A local example would be U.S. Route 1, West Putnam Avenue, which has four lanes of actual travel. When a bus has its red signals activated, all traffic, from curb line to curb line, must stop.

The operator of any vehicle shall immediately come to a stop not less than 10 feet from the front when approaching and not less than 10 feet from the rear when overtaking or following any school bus on any highway or private road or in any parking area or on any school property when such bus is displaying flashing red signal lights, except at the specific direction of a traffic officer. This violation carries one of the largest non-commercial vehicle fines, at $465 for the first offense.

Other violations for standard vehicles carry the following fees: Driving $150 (first offense); Cell Phone Violation 14-296aa, $150 (first offense); Traveling Fast 14-218a, $132 (minimum fine); and Fail to Yield to Pedestrian in a Crosswalk 14-300b(a), $92. Pedestrians may also be charged with Reckless Use of Highway by Pedestrian 53-182, $75; Pedestrian Hazard in Roadway While Intoxicated 14-300c(b), $92; Leaving Place of Safety into Path of Vehicle 14-300c(b), $92,; Failure to Use Provided Crosswalk 14-300b(b), $92; and Crossing Intersection Diagonally 14-300b(b), $92.

People on bicycles also must take care to follow the law. They may be subject to fines for offenses like Rights Duties and Regulation 14-286a — Same as Motor Vehicles; Children Under 16 to Wear an Approved Helmet 14-286d — Warning to Parent; Bikes to Ride on Right Side of Road 14-286b(a) — $117; Bikes No More Than Two Abreastd

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