Pedestrian safety should be a priority for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, as should decreasing the number of car accidents involving pedestrians. In fact, in the name of improving pedestrian safety, the state is building sidewalks at the site of a particular fatal pedestrian accident. Car accidents involving pedestrians are tragic and are often caused because pedestrians do not have a safer way to travel except by walking along the road.
Sidewalks are being built in the West Charlotte neighborhood where two young children were killed while walking along the road with their father. A person familiar with the area has stated that people are often walking along this stretch of road, but have to do so at their own risk because of the lack of sidewalks. It is common for the state to provide sidewalks in areas where there is a large amount of both foot and vehicle traffic.
The tragic accident that killed two children resulted in criminal charges for the responsible driver. However, it stands to reason that perhaps this tragedy could have been avoided if there were sidewalks. Those in the neighborhood bemoan the fact that it took a tragic accident to bring attention to this safety issue.
When roads are in poor condition and pose a hazard to drivers, it is the responsibility of North Carolina to repair these roads. The same argument could be used for a busy pedestrian area with no sidewalks, possible endangering those walking. Hopefully, car accidents involving pedestrians will be reduced in this area so that no more of these tragic and unnecessary occurrences happen. It should be noted that when people are killed or injured because of any form of negligence, legal action may be a viable option to seek compensation.
Source: wbtv.com, “Sidewalk improvements underway at site of fatal crash“, Steve Crump, June 20, 2014