To the fine folk of New Bedford, I have something to say and I hope my message comes through strong.

Throughout the city, there are public crosswalks where all vehicles must abide by the rules and people crossing have the right of way. However, it is the responsibility of those crossing to ensure that the coast is clear for their safety.

Sadly, the lack of effort is evident and pedestrians are becoming far too comfortable in the streets.

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Just last weekend, I was driving downtown. The sun was shining and the streets were bustling with tourists and bar crawlers. Other than Union, Purchase and Pleasant streets, most of the area allows pedestrians to have the right of way and I've witnessed a lot of people taking advantage of that as they cross.

This begs the question: If someone darts out into the street without looking and I don't have enough time to stop, does that entirely make it my fault? Sadly, it does, and it's sickening.

I encountered four jaywalkers that same day with no regard for oncoming traffic as they walked across the cobblestones -- even on Acushnet Avenue and Ashley Boulevard, where vehicles pass one another mirror to mirror on the tight streets of the city. I constantly see people driving far too fast for comfort.

All I'm asking is for a little more common sense.

For those who are abusing the crosswalks or crossing whenever they feel without any worry or concern about getting hit by cars, the consequences of your careless actions affect both parties.

Smarten up before you cross the road.

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