According to data released by the Harrisburg Bureau of Police, there have been 33 pedestrian accidents in the city since 2016. Four of those were fatal.
Some Harrisburg residents believe these types of accidents can be reduced with better speed limit enforcement.
Since 2016, Harrisburg police have had 10 speed enforcement details, mainly on the 3000 block of North Front Street. As a result, 1,600 speeding tickets were issued.
Police said those details are funded through grants and at the time were limited to certain state-owned streets in the city.
Harrisburg recognizes the safety issue and is in the process of developing a Vision Zero plan which aims to eliminate motor vehicle accidents in the city, including those involving pedestrians.
Reducing speed limits and putting up signage is part of the discussion. The city plans on holding meetings with the public to gather ideas on how to improve traffic flow throughout Harrisburg.
So when do pedestrians have the right of way and when do motorists have to stop? Pennsylvania law requires a motorist to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
“As a motorist, if the [pedestrian] enters the crosswalk, you are supposed to come to a stop and allow them to safely continue crossing that crosswalk, ” said Tony Elliot, a patrolman in the Traffic Safety Unit.
A motorist who does not yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk can face a fine of $166.50. Additional charges can be filed if the motorist was also speeding or if the pedestrian is struck.
Motorists are not the only ones who have rules to follow.
“Some pedestrians don’t understand that you don’t have the supreme right of way,” said Elliot. “You have some obligation to use due care and not step out in front of a car that does not have time to react.”
A pedestrian who does not use caution when stepping into a crosswalk could face a fine of $122.50.
If a motorist is traveling and a pedestrian is standing on the sidewalk, the law does not require the motorist to stop.
Cameras caught a pedestrian being struck at North Front and Herr Streets in Harrisburg. The woman survived the crash but was left with serious injuries. (Warning: Graphic Video)