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Norwalk lauded for approach to pedestrian accident prevention

Hit-and-run accidents at unsafe intersections cause scores of pedestrian accident injuries every year in Connecticut. Although these incidents can be easy to prevent with better signage and driver awareness, not every municipality prioritizes pedestrian safety. In the local town of Norwalk, however, area leaders are putting their money where their mouth is by installing a series of new stop signs that are expected to reduce the risk of crosswalk accidents near an elementary school. These changes are lauded as a positive development that can prevent the serious injuries that so often lead to legal action against drivers and municipalities alike.

In many cases, stop signs and signals are installed at intersections that are already deemed dangerous. At that point, it is too late to help the victim of the crash who may have been injured because a driver failed to yield. In an unusual step, Norwalk activists were able to petition the Connecticut Department of Transportation to install stop signs even though no previous accidents had occurred at the site! An initial study conducted by the DOT concluded that the intersection was safe, but concerned parents and residents were able to convince officials that new stop signs were still needed, especially because traffic at the site is said to be on the rise. The stop signs, which cost just $800, are expected to protect the young pedestrians who use the crosswalk every day as they travel to and from school.

This story provides an excellent example of a proactive community that was able to take steps toward a safer pedestrian culture despite the initial conclusions of the DOT investigators. Sadly, not every locality is as committed to safety. Poorly marked intersections and crosswalks can lead to hit and run accidents that leave victims with serious injuries. The victim of an auto-pedestrian accident deserves to be compensated for medical expenses and other costs. In addition to the at-fault driver, the municipality may be deemed liable because of inadequate signage or road conditions. An attorney can provide information about pursuing damages from the responsible parties after this type of crash.

Source: The Hour Online, “New stop signs installed to increase safety at Rowayton intersection,” Leslie Lake, June 26, 2015

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