Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Koepsell and colleagues1 found that older pedestrians had a higher risk
of being struck by a motor vehicle at sites with a marked crosswalk than at
unmarked intersections, but this risk was nearly eliminated by the presence
of stop signs and traffic lights.
A related strategy, which is being introduced in New Jersey and elsewhere,
is to place signs in the center of streets in crosswalks, warning drivers
to watch for pedestrians; for example, "Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalks—It's
the Law!" These signs certainly get my attention and remind me to slow down
when I am driving. Now that Koepsell et al have shown that crosswalks may
be more dangerous than we thought, it is important to find out if these warning
signs are useful or just another attractive nuisance.
Hill GJ. Dangers to Elderly Pedestrians at Crosswalks. JAMA. 2003;289(10):1244-1245. doi:10.1001/jama.289.10.1244-a