Tag Archives: Bill Dawers

Yield to Pedestrians Sign

Story on pedestrian safety reliably attracts negative comments from newspaper readers

Today on his blog Savannah Morning News columnist Bill Dawers examines a story, Ordinance aims to hike driver fines in Chatham County,  published in his paper yesterday. In particular, Bill notes “the article is already spawning the same sort of pedestrian-bashing that begins anytime such ordinances are suggested.”

In fact, these types of comments show up reliably on any story having anything to do with pedestrians (or cyclists). The most offensive generally follow news of a person being killed by another person driving a car. The three most common themes are:

  1. People who get hit by cars generally deserve it.
  2. Increased jaywalking enforcement, instead of initiatives targeting drivers, will improve pedestrian safety.
  3. People should always use crosswalks and sidewalks, even when they do not exist.

It occurred to me that Bill and I have written a lot about pedestrian safety over the years. In reviewing my posts, I’m reminded that quite a few from the list below refer to his newspaper columns:

It can be discouraging to write about the same dangerous street designs, misguided law enforcement strategies, insufficient media coverage, and ignorant and mean spirited comments over and over. Still, there is reason to hope that our state can improve safety and usability for all users now that the Georgia Department of Transportation has adopted a Complete Streets policy.