Whether you ride on trails or roads or both there is danger out there. This picture above is of one of our local trails crossing a rural road. As you can see there is a painted crosswalk as well as flashing yellow lights on the road to let motorists know if any trail users are present. The law in Indiana requires motorists to stop and yield the right away to anyone who is IN the crosswalk. If the person crossing the road has not yet entered the crosswalk motorists are not required to stop. Unfortunately all to many motorists don’t seem to know and understand the law. I have to admit that I was mistaken myself. It was my belief that motorist are required to yield to anyone who is AT a crosswalk so that they could get across the road using the crosswalk. Personally I think that is the way the law ought to be. Mind you, I don’t know what the law is about this in other States or countries.. The picture above is of the same trail crossing. Just a few months ago a female trail user was killed while crossing the road in this crosswalk. She had the right of way since she was IN the crosswalk. However, that is not the full story. Here is what happened and I have witnessed it many times myself as I sat there on my trike at crosswalks.
A motorist is driving along and they see someone there at the crosswalk waiting to cross. The motorist wants to be kind and nice so they stop to allow the trail user to cross the road. It is a nice gesture, but it can be quite dangerous. The problem is they may be stopped but that doesn’t mean other traffic will also stop. Many times I have seen motor vehicles go around them and drive on down the road. Also traffic coming from the opposite direction may not stop. If the trail user happens to be crossing the road they may very well be hit. That is what happened to the women who was killed a few months ago. https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/carroll-rd-closed-at-pufferbelly-trail-as-police-investigate/ I still see it all the time. Some well meaning motorist will stop to let me cross the road. I just wave them on and wait until it is safe to cross.I may have to wait awhile before it is safe to cross but at least I am not going to become another victim. I have seen many motorists drive around past them shouting obscenities and flipping them the bird while honking their horns. They obviously have an attitude problem. And, of course, there are always many motorists guilty of inattention … texting or whatever. It is just not worth the risk folks. It would be nice if all trails crossed under or over roads instead of “at grade level” but that is too costly.
Here is the same trail with a crossunder under Dupont Rd. being constructed. And here it is completed. It is great to simply ride under the busy road and not be concerned about one’s safety.
This is the next road south of where the female trail user was killed. https://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20180701/trail-crossing-right-of-way-goes-to-drivers Yep, motorists have the right of way. Trail users must wait until it is safe to cross.
UPDATE— 11/20/22 I just read that the man driving the vehicle who hit and killed the woman received a sentence of 3 years in prison.
BE SAFE OUT THERE!
so you can …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
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