9 Investigates: Why Charlotte drivers say they're blowing past crosswalks

9 Investigates: Why Charlotte drivers say they're blowing past crosswalks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Crosswalks are supposed to be safe spots for people to cross, but so many drivers don't stop.

There is a special crossing on North Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte made just for pedestrians.

[Police: Pedestrian struck by pizza delivery driver near Mint Hill]

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Eyewitness News anchor John Paul sat at the intersection and watched as drivers blew through red lights as people tried to cross.

Our crew saw plenty of drivers speeding past pedestrians trying to walk across the street. One driver didn’t stop until the car had already reached the crosswalk.

Instead of drivers yielding to pedestrians, in most cases it seemed like the people walking had to stop for drivers.

The crosswalks are clearly marked everywhere in our area saying it is state law for drivers to yield to pedestrians, so Channel 9 wanted to know why drivers are ignoring the signs.

Paul went to a clearly marked crosswalk on Fifth Street and almost immediately witnessed an SUV blow past a guy as he crossed.

So, we tracked him down at a light and asked if he realized he was supposed to stop at the crosswalk.

The driver said he didn’t see the person and didn’t want to say much more.

One driver was so distracted that she didn't even notice when we tried to get her attention.

Some drivers said they think the area needs to be more clearly marked, but Channel 9 learned that doesn’t always work.

An intersection in Matthews has a yield for pedestrians sign in the middle of the road, but on June 21, 81-year-old Fanny Bunn was hit and killed while trying to cross.

“She was a really neat lady. A lot of people in the area knew her. She was part of a women's workout group. It was a really big loss for them. She was a really good person,” said Officer Tim Aycock, with Matthews police.

The driver in that case, Charles Mills, was charged with death by vehicle and failure to yield.

“Now, that driver is affected for the rest of his life. It's really unfortunate all the way around,” Aycock said.

It's estimated the United States could see more pedestrian deaths this year than in the past 30.

There were 17 pedestrian deaths in Charlotte last year and 14 so far this year.

Rules on the roads:

  • When pedestrians are in the marked crosswalk, drivers have to stop
  • Pedestrians can't walk across on a don't walk sign
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Drivers can't go around another car that stops at a crosswalk for a pedestrian
  • Share the roads