New Canaan Police Chief on Pedestrian Safety


Everyone has different preferences when it comes to transportation, but there’s one that all road users share—everyone is a pedestrian. Unfortunately, pedestrians are one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States.

New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski

In New Canaan, neither pedestrians nor drivers obey laws and signals consistently and many often use cell phones while walking or driving. In one study, only 60% of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way.

As a pedestrian, you are at a major disadvantage when crossing streets, intersections and standing on corners. You are not always visible to drivers. Here are some tips that can keep you safe.

Walk on sidewalks and in crosswalks whenever possible. It is important to pay attention to walk signals and keep a safe distance when standing on street corners.

Be careful of the blind spots, or “No-Zones”, around cars, trucks, and buses when walking near or around them. Always assume the driver does not know that you are there.

Use caution when crossing intersections and streets. You may think vehicles will stop for you, but they may not see you or even be able to stop. Remember, trucks, cars, motorcycles and bicyclists, all have different stopping capabilities.

Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when walking at night. Dressing to be seen will make it safer for you and drivers. Carry a flashlight at night.

Pedestrians Should

  • Avoid walking in the dark and during bad weather such as snow, ice, rain or fog.
  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
  • Cross only at street corners, preferably those with a traffic light and within marked crosswalks.
  • Don’t text or talk on your cell phone when walking.
  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
  • Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Pay attention to “Walk/Don’t Walk” signals.
  • Realize that some roads are not ideal for pedestrians. Roads with blind curves and high speed limits may not be best.
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.

Drivers Should

  • Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path.
  • Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk.
  • Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians.

Parents Should

  • Conduct a walkability checklist of your favorite walking routes in your neighborhood. See www.nhtsa. gov/Driving+Safety/Pedestrians/ Walkability+Checklist.
  • Teach young children right-of-way rules and safe pedestrian behaviors.
  • Visit NHTSA’s Parents Central for information for young children. See walking.htm

Be better informed, connected, and send anonymous tips to our Department by downloading the “MYPD” application in the iPhone or Android marketplace. After downloading the application search for “New Canaan” and get connected. If you have a traffic complaint or request for enforcement please send an e-mail to: Follow us on Twitter@newcanaanpolice for crime alerts.

2 thoughts on “New Canaan Police Chief on Pedestrian Safety

  1. The number of pedestrians killed in accidents involving SUVs has skyrocketed by 81 percent in the last decade, according to a 2018 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The report suggests that their design could make them more deadly in a vehicle-pedestrian crash than regular cars. SUVs have higher front ends, and often the design for the vehicle is much more vertical than passenger cars which makes for a more blunt impact and less likelihood that a pedestrian being struck by an SUV might be able to roll off the vehicle and reduce injuries.

  2. I would like to include another suggestion for parents along with these safety tips. Over the past several weeks, I have observed young people riding their skateboards and bikes on sidewalks. In addition, they often are riding them on our busy streets , especially going the wrong way down Elm Street. These young people are also not wearing helmets. Needless to say, this is a dangerous situation for pedestrians and drivers. Let’s keep our community safe for everyone.

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