Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crosswalk safety education! (VIDEO)

10-20-11 Crosswalk safety education! (VIDEO)

Some pedestrians appear to be miss-interpreting the countdown as a safe time to begin crossing the road, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation.

The new countdown style pedestrian signals have been installed at most major intersections in Boise. Officers have noticed that many people don't understand the meaning of the signals. Many of them cross the street when it is not legally permitted, after the countdown has begun.

Idaho State code 49-803 makes it clear that no one shall leave the curb to cross the street unless they are facing the steady "walk" signal.  Once the flashing hand, or "don't walk" signal is showing, no one is permitted to start across the street, but pedestrians who have already legally started to cross may continue to the other side.

This means that when the countdown has begun on one of the new street signs, it is not legal to begin crossing the street. The countdown is there simply to advise those who are already crossing, how long it may be before the light changes. 

Officers have noted that many of the pedestrians using the crosswalks may enter the intersection long after the countdown has begun, and rush across the street to make it before the countdown ends creating a potential hazard for the pedestrian and motorist. 

Officers would ask pedestrians to slow down, observe the traffic signals and follow the rules to keep our city intersections safer for everyone!