Officials concerned about safety of base drivers, pedestrians

Officials concerned about safety of base drivers, pedestrians

Base leadership is asking the Team Hill community to renew its commitment to safety in 2015.

Traveling around Hill AFB can be very challenging because the base’s sheer size. It can be even more difficult learning the various ordinances inside and outside the installation, especially for those new to the area.

Safety must remain a priority for people regardless of their circumstances, and the following safety tips are provided to help combat what base officials’ topmost concerns.

Driver Do’s:

• Whatever the situation, drivers must take all precautions to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.

• Drivers must yield to pedestrians lawfully within crosswalks, by coming to a complete stop, while a pedestrian is in the vehicle’s travel lane or adjoining lane. Also, when a vehicle is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross, vehicles approaching from the rear must also stop to verify that no pedestrian is within their travel lane or an adjoining lane.

• When approaching a stop sign, drivers must stop before entering the crosswalk.

• Drivers shall not position their vehicles in such a way as to obstruct the free passage of pedestrians in crosswalks.

• Before crossing a sidewalk, drivers must yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk by coming to a complete stop.

• When approaching a school bus from the front or rear that is displaying flashing red lights, all drivers must stop before reaching the bus and must not proceed until the red lights on the school bus stop flashing.

Pedestrian Do’s:

• Pedestrians shall only cross a roadway in a crosswalk, pedestrian tunnel or overhead walkway unless there is no crosswalk, pedestrian tunnel or overhead walkway within 700 feet. In such cases, a pedestrian may cross by the shortest straight route to the opposite side after exercising due care and caution and yielding to all vehicular traffic.

• Legal crosswalks exist at all intersections, extending out from the edges of the sidewalks. Crosswalks exist even if there are no painted crosswalk lines.

• The walking person symbolizes “walk” and means a pedestrian may, exercising due caution, begin crossing.

• The lone solid or flashing upraised hand (without an active countdown timer) symbolizes “don’t walk” or more appropriately, “do not begin crossing.” If during your crossing, the symbol changes from walk to don’t walk, continue and complete your crossing while exercising due caution.

• A countdown timer together with the flashing upraised hand symbol means you may, exercising due caution, begin crossing, but only if you are able to safely walk completely across the street or to a safety island before the timer shows no remaining time.

• At signalized intersections without pedestrian signals, pedestrians facing a green traffic signal indication, except when the signal indication is a turn arrow for a vehicular movement in conflict with the desired path of the pedestrian may proceed across the roadway within any crosswalk. Pedestrians shall not start crossing while facing a yellow or red traffic signal indication.

• Even if the pedestrian has the right-of-way, a pedestrian shall not suddenly walk or run into the path of a vehicle, which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

• Where sidewalks are provided, pedestrians shall not walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a street or its shoulder shall, when practicable, walk on the left side facing traffic.

• Pedestrians shall yield to emergency vehicles exhibiting a lighted red lamp or audible siren by immediately leaving the roadway and shall remain out of the roadway until they pass.

• Pedestrians shall not obstruct or prevent the free use of sidewalks or crosswalks by other pedestrians.

• Pedestrians may not pass through, around, under, or over any railroad gate or barrier while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.

Pedestrian safety tips

Crossing streets on foot requires sound judgment. The following tips will help improve your safety while crossing:

• Never assume drivers see you – make eye contact with drivers before walking in front of their vehicles.

• Always watch for turning vehicles and do not step in front of vehicles that are too close to stop safely. You may have the legal right to be in the crosswalk, but that does not protect you from the damage inflicted by collision with an automobile. In an accident, the pedestrian always loses.

• Do not run or ride bicycles or skateboards in crosswalks; however, whenever crossing, minimize the time you spend in the roadway.

• When provided, always use the pedestrian push button.

• Wear reflective clothing when walking at night.

Furthermore, when driving a vehicle, it’s best to avoid wearing a head set whether to listen to music on your mobile device or talk on your cellular phone.

Also, avoid wearing hoodies that obscures your peripheral vision when driving motor vehicle or motorcycle. Similarly, when your vehicle is stopped at an intersection, look both ways before turning left or right.  These are good practices so you can see and hear emergency respond vehicles or pedestrians.

Finally, for walkers, joggers or runners, prior to sunrise or just before sunset, it is advisable to wear some type of reflective clothing, reflective belt, or reflective vest in order to help vehicle traffic at the crosswalk or in the parking lots see you.  It’s too easy to make yourself visible in order to decrease your chances of being hit by a vehicle.

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