Eau Claire police give tips on staying safe in the crosswalk

EAU CLAIRE, WIS -- As the temperature starts to rise and the snow melts, more and more people will be heading outside to walk, run or get on the bike.

But with more people out and about, it's important that drivers and pedestrians pay attention on the road.
“Both drivers of vehicles and pedestrians need to be equally responsible,” Kyle Roder said.

Eau Claire Police Officer Kyle Roder says most crashes at intersections involving pedestrians and cars are because one or both of the people are not paying attention.

Roder says crosswalks are where most people make mistakes. He says pedestrians are required by law to wait for traffic to pass. But if a pedestrian is already walking across the street they have the right of way and the driver should stop.

"We have to be extra cautious when we are driving walking, running to take the time and make sure we are aware of everything around us and be a conscious driver and pedestrian," said Roder.

And not all crosswalks are marked. “A crosswalk by state statute is the area that runs across to the other sidewalk,” said Roder.

He says if you're approaching an intersection, your first instinct should be to slow down.

“We need to be extra careful this time of year it’s a unique situation that the snow banks are so high and sometimes it’s difficult for drivers to see over them because their vehicles sit low and sometimes it’s difficult for a pedestrian to be seen because of their height,” said Roder.

And while he says cars have just as much responsibility to pay attention on the road. Roder says if you’re walking through an intersection it's important you put your safety first.