Pedestrian Left Hanging Over New River Drawbridge

Fort Lauderdale firefighters saved the day when they rescued a woman over the New River. She was up on the river’s railroad drawbridge, which crosses between Las Olas Riverfront and a historic district. Firefighters had to use a 24-foot ladder to reach the 55-year-old woman.
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According to the Sun Sentinel, witnesses say that the woman was crossing the railroad bridge when it started to raise. That’s when people are not supposed to be on it, as there are warning signs to keep pedestrians away.

Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers understand that this isn’t the first time this has happened on the bridge. Back in December of 2010, two soccer players from Lynn University were crossing the bridge when it opened and caused them to fall to the water below. Only one soccer play made it out alive. It’s because of incidents like this that we have the Andrews Avenue Bridge nearby. That’s a pedestrian-friendly walkway. But does more need to be done at the railroad drawbridge to keep pedestrian traffic away?

Pedestrian safety should always of the utmost importance and should also be illustrated through proper signage.

Signs Should:

-Show pedestrians where it is and isn’t safe to cross.

-Alert drivers where crosswalks are and when to slow down.

-Alert all travelers of potential dangers.

-Post speed limits.

Studies have found that high-intensity activated crosswalk traffic signals allow pedestrians to be more visible to motorists and have been effective at reducing crashes. These signals alert drivers to stop at crosswalks and are activated by pedestrians and remain dark when no one is crossing. Extending the time for pedestrians to cross an intersection can be helpful as well, especially for older pedestrians. Countdown signals can reduce crashes in urban intersections.

Still, there were close to 4,500 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2011. This shows us that we don’t have enough signs or awareness to keep these on-foot travelers safe. The truth of the matter is that we must all work together to help to keep one another safe. A good majority of these accidents, injuries and fatalities happened here in the state of Florida. Since we have such high volumes of on-foot traffic, we have higher risks for accidents. With the upcoming tourist season, we can only expect higher risks. This is why we need to bring the problems out into open air now, to help raise awareness and to make the appropriate changes to make sure that everyone is protected out there.

Drivers should remember that a pedestrian can be anywhere at any time — always be ready. These walkers can also be difficult to see at times. Keep an eye out. Whenever approaching a crosswalk, slow down and stop before reaching pedestrians. Be especially attentive around schools and in neighborhoods where children are active. Avoid passing vehicles at crosswalks as they may be stopped for a crossing pedestrian.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Las Olas Boulevard Pedestrian Improvements in Focus, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, October 29, 2013
New Intersection System to Protect Pedestrians of Las Olas, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, October 4, 2013