Two pedestrians were hit by cars in two separate accidents Monday night. Both are now recovering at Shands Hospital.
The first pedestrian, a 70-year-old man, was hit just before 8 p.m. Monday as he was trying to cross Beach Blvd. near the intersection of St. Johns Bluff. The Florida Highway Patrol says the man stepped out in front a car driven by a 25-year-old. The pedestrian is reported to be in serious condition. Then about an hour later, another pedestrian was hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Timiquana and Brent Street and is reported to be in serious condition.
We offer our condolences to the family and friends of these seriously injured victims. Please keep them in your prayers.
While there is no word yet on whether any charges will be filed, it is not clear whether the drivers stopped on their own. According to Florida Statute Section 316.027 , the driver of any vehicle involved in a crash on public or private property that results in injury must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene and render aid. When a death is involved and the person leaves the scene, they are guilty of a felony in the first degree, punishable by 30 years in state prison.
Jacksonville is the fourth most deadly city for pedestrians, according to a national study released in November. The top three dangerous areas for pedestrians were Orlando-Kissimmee; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater; and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach. The advocacy group, Transportation for America, measures the “pedestrian danger index,” taking into account the number of fatalities per 100,000 population.
The group says the study demonstrates the need to spend more on pedestrian safety. If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, they have the right of way, no matter whether the light changes while they are still in the crosswalk.
Writers to the Channel 4 Web site says Beach Blvd. traffic signals are not particularly pedestrian friendly, meaning they do not stay in the walk mode long enough to allow pedestrians to cross.
It is not surprising that Florida has a high number of pedestrian accidents. With our warm year-round weather, many people decide they can travel by foot. However, Florida is also not particularly pedestrian friendly and is dominated by a car culture, not a bicycle or walking culture as some areas of the country enjoy. Florida can and should do better in that regard and drivers absolutely need to respect the existence of those who decide to use our streets on foot.