After a recent incident at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Robinhood Drive, a Willoughby man is reminding fellow residents of the importance of crosswalk safety.
Through social media, resident Terry McCann, who is blind, highlighted that drivers should be cautious when turning through or approaching crosswalks. In one incident involving two cars, McCann said that his guide dog, Mac, stopped him after spotting a car ahead. Meanwhile, a car behind McCann made a turn.
“A car, traveling east toward downtown, started moving forward,” McCann stated in a Facebook post. “Not sure where they were going, as they would’ve had a red light. My dog did what he was trained to do and immediately stopped me. Since the car was in the inside lane, this left me dangerously close to the car that decided to turn behind me, coming out of Willoughby Commons.”
McCann said that he frequents that intersection between Euclid Avenue and Robinhood Drive, as he lives nearby. He said in an interview that the downtown intersection at Euclid Avenue and Spaulding Street isn’t his “favorite street to cross” either.
Willoughby Police Lt. Randy Sevel said that pedestrians always have the right of way in a crosswalk. But, “the vehicle always has to make sure that (they have) a clear path to turn.” Sevel said.
“If someone was coming towards me, and I was going to make a right hand turn, I would need to make sure that they cleared the crosswalk first…,” he said. “If they were walking away from me, and I was going to make a right hand turn, as long as they’re continuing to walk away from me and I have clearance, I can make that turn.”
Although cars can turn if they assure a safe distance, McCann said that during the incident he experienced, “it was equally as bad to cut in behind while I was still in a crosswalk. Because things can still happen.”
Penalties for crosswalk violations range depending on the incident, police said. McCann said that if it were possible, he would ensure that the fines for violating the right-of-way in a crosswalk were high enough to deter drivers.
“I have an amazing and well-trained dog that I trust with my life,” McCann stated on Facebook. “But we still rely on people behind the wheel of a car to drive safely.