Yesterday, Tyrone Borough officials, the Tyrone Police Department and PennDOT partnered to kick off a pedestrian awareness campaign.
Area residents have probably noticed the new pedestrian crossing signs located throughout downtown. Freshly painted crosswalks also accompany the new addition to several Tyrone streets.
There are six new signs in total, two at the intersection of Logan Avenue and 10th Street, and four along Pennsylvania Avenue at intersections on 12th Street and 13th Street.
The pedestrian crossing devices were given to the Tyrone Borough Police Department by PennDOT to be placed at high-traffic crossings.
Known as pedestrian channelization devices, these signs display a highly-reflective pedestrian crossing symbol designed to slow traffic and alert motorists of pedestrian areas.
Police will issue citations to motorists observed failing to yield to a person walking in a crosswalk.
The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code states when traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, a driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is crossing the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
Any driver in the Commonwealth who is convicted of a pedestrian offense could face a fine of $50 and be assessed points on their license.
However, pedestrians do share some of the responsibility.
The Vehicle Code also states that no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute a hazard.
While there were no pedestrian fatalities in Tyrone last year, statewide there were 155 reported crashes across Pennsylvania that involved a pedestrian fatality in 2007.
PennDOT encourages drivers to take every precaution when traveling in residential and urban areas where pedestrians may cross the street or walk along the roadway.
Pedestrians, especially children, may dart out into traffic from unexpected places like between parked cars. Always be prepared to take evasive action to avoid crashes.