'Springfield Yields' clarifies crosswalk safety after second pedestrian fatality of the year

Published: Sep. 13, 2019 at 5:49 PM CDT
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A man was hit and killed by a car in Springfield at the intersection of E. Division and Benton, Thursday.

59-year-old Anthony E. Posten is the second pedestrian to be killed this year.

Police received the call to the intersection of Division and Benton just before 7:30 a.m. Officers say the van was going eastbound and hit the man who was walking south through the intersection.

The incident left many wondering: how much time do pedestrians really have to get across busy roads?

But Springfield traffic safety engineer Mandy Buttgen- Quinn said people tend to misunderstand how a crosswalk is supposed to be used.

"The walk time is not just the walking phase where you see the white walking person," she said.

Springfield police say the driver who hit and killed a man crossing the street at Benton and Division Thursday had a solid green light. The man was walking through the intersection anyway.

If you're in the middle of an intersection, don't panic, you can still walk when the hand is flashing.

"It tells you how many seconds you have left to get across," said Buttgen-Quinn. "There's still a little bit of a safety buffer and most folks have enough time to safely get across."

She said the signals are designed to go at a pace that would allow an elderly person to cross, but even young people feel like they're rushed for time.

"That doesn't make sense but okay, must be a fast walker," said pedestrian Sabrina Limback. "Sometimes I'm running across and that's like not enough time still."

Busier roads can be an even bigger problem to cross safely.

"I cross National a lot and there's definitely not enough time to cross and people get really impatient when they're turning and they'll just go," said Limback.

With fall on its way, drivers and pedestrians may need to watch the roads more closely to make sure Springfield doesn't see another deadly crash in 2019.

"The sun is in direct east-west alignment and right low at your eyes, and so glare crashes are increasing at that time," said Buttgen-Quinn.

Police didn't say if the man involved in the E. Division and Benton wreck was using the crosswalk.

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