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Pedestrian Hit in Crosswalk at E. Broad and Elm Streets

The following information was obtained from the Westfield Police Department.

A 70-year-old Scotch Plains woman was struck by a Westfield motorist shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 12 at the intersection of East Broad and Elm Streets.

Reid Edles, president of the , said the victim did not wish to be transported to the hospital. 

A relative of the woman who was struck contacted Patch and said that the victim, while initially "banged up and limping," was "nearly back to herself" four days later.

The driver, 58, who was making a left turn from E. Broad onto Elm Street, was issued a summons for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. 

Westifield Police Capt. Cliff Auchter said the fine for this offense can vary as it is determined by a judge in cases of motor vehicle accidents with injuries. 

According to the crash investigation report, the driver stated that while making a left turn from E. Broad onto Elm St., "a pedestrian walked in front of her vehicle." The pedestrian stated that while attempting to cross Elm Street westbound in a marked crosswalk with the right of way that she was struck by the vehicle, a Honda Pilot, making a left turn.

On Tuesday, July 10, Patch asked readers if the that requires motorists to stop rather than simply yield to pedestrians in crosswalks was making any difference in Westfield.

The following are the results of the question: Are motorists and pedestrians exercising caution with regard to crosswalks?

  • Yes, both are observing the law. 10 (10%)
  • I think motorists should be more careful. 16 (17%)
  • I think pedestrians should be more careful. 22 (23%)
  • No, I don't think drivers and pedestrians are observing the law. 31 (33%)
  • I don't think this law has had any impact. 9 (9%)
  • I'll tell you what I think in the comments. 4 (4%)

Total votes: 92

Patch readers on the poll were nearly evenly divided as to who bears the greater responsibility when it comes to crosswalk safety, drivers or pedestrians. 

Ann Conlon July 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM
I do believe that pedestrians need to be more cautious! Don't assume that the driver sees you! Make eye contact with the driver and then proceed. On many occasions, pedestrians have walked out in front of my car onto the crosswalk! I also have seen drivers just drive through the crosswalks paying no heed to the pedestrians standing patiently waiting to cross.
Verizon doesn't cause accidents people do July 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Heard the driver was texting.
Sally McBride July 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I believe it is the driver not paying attention most of the time. The pedestrian has the right away. But the law is a little ridiculous. The way it is stated is that you have to stop when the is a pedetrian ANY WHERE in the cross walk. So even on a 4 lane road, after the person passes in front of you and is on the other side of the street, legally you have to wait until they are all the way across.
Sally McBride July 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM
> On many occasions, pedestrians have walked out in front > of my car onto the crosswalk and then you stop. Unless they are jumping out between parked cars in the middle of the block, you should be looking out for them. Just because you were going to "be there first", you do not have the right away
Sally McBride July 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM
That is a very busy pedestrian corner, drivers should be on the lookout
Ricky L. July 26, 2012 at 02:14 PM
This is the only major intersection in town that does not have nor ever has had pedestrian walk/don't walk signals. This leads to confusion with pedestrians and traffic - a pedestrian can step off the curb right as the light changes, and then have to get across a busy street as cars are scrambling to make their left turns to get out of oncoming traffic. Unsure if that was the case here. A very easy thing to correct, if someone in the Town would take notice. Could even be a liability issue.
Malarkey July 26, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Walk/don't walk signals are ignored everyday. Go to the intersection of Summit Ave and South Ave. if you are on Summit waiting to make a left on to South Ave, people. Tossing from the train station ignore the red hand signal that does not change until cars making a left on to South on the green turn arrow are given a head start. The pedestrians cross North Ave in front of the Methodist church in the same fashion disregarding the red hand don't walk signal.
Molly A. July 26, 2012 at 04:41 PM
This is a very bad corner, full of cars and pedestrians. It is hard for both drivers and pedestrians to keep an eye out. I think the best solution at this corner would be a dedicated walk signal that allows pedestrians to cross in any direction. I have seen these in other cities, and although it would make the light cycle a little longer, it would, I think, be worth it for the added safety and convenience.
Jay July 26, 2012 at 05:08 PM
In a motor vehicle vs. human collision, the sheer mass of the vehicle means the vehicle will always get the better end of the contact. In a vehicle vs. human stopping contest, the human can (almost) always stop/change course faster than the vehicle. While the CIVIL LAW imposes liability/responsibility on the operator of the dangerous weapon to avoid the contact, common sense (and the law of PHYSICS) DICTATES that the pedestrian has the best and last chance to protect him/herself. To BOTH drived and walkers - - If you don't cross/turn on this cycle of the light, you will on the next. If you are in such a hurry that waiting one more minute to cross/turn will make a difference as to when you get where you are going then you are already TOO LATE for that minute to matter! JUST SLOW DOWN and BE MINDFUL OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS!
Wally Westfield July 26, 2012 at 06:04 PM
the town should just down automotive traffic between 10 am - 10 pm on Broad St between North Ave & Cental
Sue R. July 26, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I have stopped at crosswalks to allow people to cross on both Rahway Ave. and Grove St. Several times cars behind me passed on the left and almost hit the person in the crosswalk. By doing the right thing, I endangered the pedestrian.
Walkin Westfield July 27, 2012 at 02:06 AM
the speed limit is what 25 mph, if someone walks out in front of your car you still have plenty of time to respond. Too many people get in there cars without leaving enough time to get where they are going so they feel the need to speed.
firedup49 July 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM
you have got to be kidding. stupid idea
Wally Westfield July 28, 2012 at 07:02 PM
glad you enjoyed the sarcasm.............
ANS August 02, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I know someone who was hit by a large SUV on that exact intersection, she was crossing at the green light and the woman driving was making a left hand turn. Not sure what would solve the problem I think it has much to do with our attitudes. I am always amazed when I go to another State and cars actually stop to let pedestrians cross, even if they are not crossing at a crosswalk. Only in this NY/NJ area would they rather kill you then let you go.

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