Traffic police plea for pedestrian safety

Sometimes pedestrians seem to have a death wish. Wearing dark clothes in the middle of a rain storm, they cross a major highway where they should not.

The Policía de Tránsito knows because they are the ones who have to determine how an accident happened. Frequently, they said, it is the lack of prudence and the actions of a pedestrian that leads to an encounter with a vehicle.

The traffic police came out with a plea to pedestrians Thursday asking them to wear clothing that makes them visible. Police said that with the end of the teacher strike and the advent of the rainy season there will be more individuals walking on the nation’s highways and in situations where they are not visible.

Being hit by a car is the second biggest cause of traffic death, they said. Last year, 59 pedestrians died that way.

Drivers, too, could be at fault, but police studies show that many pedestrians refuse to use the bridge overpasses that were built to help them avoid crossing major highways.

Sometimes the pedestrian is drunk or under the influence of some chemical. Rural roads are notorious for not having shoulders for walkers. In rural areas walking and riding a bike are major means of transport.

In San José and other cities there is the additional problem with beggars who seek coins at intersections. Sometimes they are not dressed for the job either.

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