Tag Archives: pedestrian law

Safety Tips for Halloween from Personal Injury Lawyer Michelle Funkenbusch

Car v. Pedestrian Accidents Safety Checklist for Halloween

Personal Injury Lawyer Warns About Monkeying Around on Halloween Night

According to U.S. Census data, there are about 41 million potential trick-or-treaters between the ages of 5 and 14. Add that statistic to the fact that in 2010, 41 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher, Halloween night requires added attention to safety to all those walking from house to house.

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, in four out of six years between 2006 and 2010, more pedestrians under the age of 21 were killed by cars on Oct. 31 than on Oct. 30 or Nov. 1. Taking steps now and remembering them on Halloween night can prevent a pedestrian vs. car accident.

Here a few tips to reduce car v. pedestrian accidents this Halloween from Saint Louis personal injury lawyer Michelle Funkenbusch:

1.  Carry a flashlight or glowstick and wear glow-in-the-dark necklaces or attach reflective tape to costumes, wagons, and bags.

2.  Loose fitting clothing and oversized shoes can trip a trick-or-treater when crossing the street, so they should practice walking/running in their costume safely. Cut any costumes shorter if necessary.  

3.  Pirate swords and masks are cool, but are dangerous and masks can obscure vision. Thus, leave the swords at home (or make one from a poster board and aluminum foil) and use face paint instead of masks.

4. Remind kids to cross at crosswalks or at a corner with you.   They should also always make eye contact with drivers before stepping into the street and ALWAYS look left, right and left again.

5. For parents and kids, take out the headphones and no texting and walking especially when crossing the road.

6.  Avoid the decorative contact lenses — they could blur your vision at night.

7.  Many car accidents happen when a vehicle is pulling out of a driveway; kids should always look for cars when walking by a driveway.

8.  Stay with a group as you and your children are more visible.

9.  In urban areas, make sure children understand they cannot dart out between cars and that they may not see oncoming traffic.

Halloween trick-or-treaters need to be careful, but so do drivers. Drivers need to know that kids will be out of the streets looking for candy and not looking for cars. Avoid a car accident with a child by increasing your look-out for pedestrians. A few extra seconds could prevent a pedestrian vs. car accident!!!

Prepare now to have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. Be safe and watch out for those who aren’t!


Transportation-related bills from the 2012 legislative session passed and awaiting the governor’s signature

[UPDATE 8 JULY 2012: Bills signed or approved by Governor Nixon are indicated.]

A number of transportation related bills passed the Missouri General Assembly this year and are now awaiting the governor’s signature.

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation recently gave a summary of the bicycle and pedestrian related bills and issues that came up during this year’s legislative session.  Now an even larger list–all of the significant transportation-related bills, whether or not they include bicycle or pedestrian provisions.Missouri Capitol and bicyclists

Almost all of the bills are ‘omnibus’ bills containing somewhere between a few and many different provisions.  To see the full list of provisions, click through to the bill’s page. The list below points out only those provisions of special interest for bicycling, walking, or trails:

  • SB 470 – Optional 3rd license plate for use when bike rack or other obstruction obscures the rear license plate (Ryan’s law)
  • SB 568 – Cities are allowed to levy a transportation tax under 74.700 to 74.755 RSMO.  The tax can be used for mass transit, roads, streets, bridges, airports, and planning. SB 568 adds “sidewalks, trails, and community-owned parking” to the list of allowed items for the tax.
  • SB 607 – Allows billboards to be moved or removed under special rules when a stretch of highway undergoes construction.
  • SB 611 – temporary permit tags; yellow light duration; move over law
  • SB 665 – conveys certain real estate to MoDOT
  • SB 719 – motorcycle training course exemption; use of state park roads by commercial entities (ie, bike rental, canoe rental)
  • HB 1402 – Optional 3rd license plate for use when bike rack or other obstruction obscures the rear license plate (Ryan’s law); “moderate” billboard legislation requiring MoDOT to create regulations government digital signs; includes many other provisions
  • HB 1504 – authorizing additional funding for Great Rivers Greenway District for trails, greenways, parks, and improvement of the Arch district in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County; authorizing creation of a Trails and Greenway District in Jackson County and creation of a sales tax to fund trails and greenways.  This is state enabling legislation–all taxes must be approved by voters in the respective counties before they become effective.
  • HB 1807 [signed by governor 6 July 2012] – Designates the bike/ped path on the Heart of America Bridge in Kansas City as the “Bob Watts Memorial Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge”.  Bob was a pioneering bicycle and pedestrian advocate in Missouri and former MoBikeFed Chair.
  • HB 2004 and HB 2005 [signed by governor 22 June 2012 with one minor line-item veto in HB 2004] – Appropriating funding for MoDOT.
  • SCR 26 – Establishes the Joint Interim Committee on Transportation Needs to study the transportation infrastructure needs of Missouri

You’ll note that some provisions, such as Ryan’s Law, are included as part of two or more bills.  This is a common legislative tactic–each bill the language is included in raises the odds of that language passing at least once–and helps the provision survive a veto if one or more of the large omnibus transportation bills is vetoed.  So if a certain provision passes twice or more, it can only help and doesn’t hurt anything.

As an advocate for the protection of cyclists and pedestrians, I strongly urge you to support bicycling, walking, and trails in Missouri and work towards Complete Streets policies in Missouri that will help every community become safer and more inviting for walking and bicycling.  Bicycling, walking, and trails are important for our health, for the livability of our communities, and for the economic vitality of our state as it competes on a national and international level.  The governor has until July 14th to sign most of these bills.  

SOURCE: Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, Article Submitted by Brent Hugh on Thu, 06/07/2012 – 2:27pm