RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Capitol Police will be increasing patrols at busy intersections in and around Capitol Square. The goal is to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety.
“As a community, all of us who work in and visit Capitol Square can do better when it comes to safety,” Capitol Police Chief Col. Anthony S. Pike said. “It falls on all of us to not only be vigilant as we go through our workday, but to know the laws and put them into practice, whether we are driving to and from work or making our way around the grounds each day.”
Capitol Police will be working with Richmond police to step up patrols in areas such as 14th and Bank/Franklin. Capitol Police say at least one person has been hit and injured at the busy downtown intersection.
“You really have to look at the driver to make sure they know it is red, or that it is time for the pedestrians to cross," Francis Sam, who works near the Capitol, said. “During rush hour it can get pretty busy, so you really have to keep looking and making sure the driver is also paying attention, because a little slip in your attention could probably be dangerous.”
Capitol Police refer to the area pedestrians use to cross as “the box." Officers say one of the biggest concerns they continue to hear, is from pedestrians who witness drivers pulling up too far and blocking intersections--which forces pedestrians to walk in traffic.
“Not only are they breaking the law by entering the so-called ‘box’ illegally, but they’re putting pedestrians in great danger," Pike said. “Pedestrians have no way to defend themselves against motor vehicles."
Capitol Police plan to work with RPD to inform drivers about Virginia laws that specifically relate to pedestrian crosswalks. The agencies will also use electronic message boards to remind drivers and pedestrians to put their safety first.
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