Spencer’s police chief is urging motorists to be alert at intersections after a bicyclist was hit and seriously injured earlier this week while attempting to cross a four-lane street in Spencer.

The warning from Spencer Police Chief Mark Warburton comes as foot traffic in marked crosswalks across the state increases, due to the start of school.

“When the pedestrian activates the yellow flashing lights, that’s a signal for the drivers that somebody is preparing to cross into that crosswalk,” Warburton says. “When the pedestrian is in the crosswalk they have the right-of-way, so you have got to yield to the pedestrian in that crosswalk. There are no exceptions.”

The most recent government data indicates 23 pedestrians were hit by a vehicle and killed in Iowa in 2017. Spencer’s police chief says the safest points for pedestrians to cross a street is at an intersection with stop signs or stop lights or at marked crosswalks with flashing yellow lights — but he urges everyone using the road to be on guard.

“Sometimes a pedestrian can get lost or hidden behind other vehicles, so it’s important for us — everybody — to be diligent on both the pedestrian side as well as the driver’s side to prevent these accidents,” Warburton says.

A 53-year-old man on a bicycle was hit Monday while in a marked crosswalk on the major north-south street in Spencer.

(By Corey Harguth, KICD, Spencer)