Column: Crosswalks May Save Lives; They Do Save Money

Crosswalks might save lives; they do save money.

Anyone who has braved Oklahoma weather knows how challenging it is to stay-the-course on predetermined paths of stamped concrete.

In the summers you can smell your shoes melting, and in the winter, winds blast through the plains like an ice cream factory. I get it, comfort comes first, and when we are in the extremes, it is sometimes difficult to prioritize safety.

Tulsa averages 15 pedestrian deaths per year, and 90% of those deaths are considered the fault of the pedestrian
because they were not inside the painted boundaries of a crosswalk while crossing a roadway. 

A crosswalk signal shows the "walk" signal under the Boston Avenue street sign.
Crosswalk signals are included in Tulsa’s municipal law and carry fines of $50 for not obeying them.

Although the painted boundaries of a crosswalk are no guarantee for your safety, they do promise that if an
accident occurs, it would not be your fault. A good thing if you require medical care or if there is a lawsuit for the
damage your body caused to a
vehicle or its passenger(s).

Campus Officer, Jeff Snow, cautioned that “although we have not had an emergency evacuation drill in some time, in the past students would spill out into the streets, into traffic. He said, “students must follow the law and wait to use cross crosswalks.”

Yes, that includes waiting for the signal to cross.

Crossing a street while facing a “Do Not Walk” signal is a $50 fine. Jaywalking, or crossing a street outside the
boundaries of a crosswalk where one is present is a $50 fine.

Also, deserving mention is that driving a motor
scooter (Lime, Bird, etc.) on sidewalks is $150 fine.

Crossing a street outside the painted boundaries of a crosswalk when one is present is against the law in Tulsa and carries a $50 fine.

So definitely do not ride a scooter from a
sidewalk to cross a street, while outside a crosswalk boundary while facing a “Do Not Walk” sign or that would be $250 fine. 

If anyone needs a “yield to pedestrians” crosswalk near campus or anywhere, like the ones on Cherry Street and Brookside, you can request them by following the prompts on www.tulsa311.com. 

Crossings that include the electronic push-button signals cost the city about $20,000, but paint and a static sign are reasonable options to slow traffic, increase safety, assist with compliance, and save money.

You may break these laws without incident and feel confident in doing so; however, authorities will reiterate that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.  

Now you know.