By: Sheriff Carmine
Our county is growing and, with that growth comes an increase in the number of vehicles, more pedestrians, additional cyclists and construction to alter, repair and improve roadways.
All of the aforementioned variables are capable of compromising pedestrian safety…especially for children walking to and from school and/or bus stops. As part of Sheriff Carmine Marceno’s “Safe Kids, Safe Schools” initiative, a safe walk to school, and back home later in the day, is a non-negotiable component.
Everyone is seemingly rushing to get somewhere… school, work, appointments. All too many of us have our eyes focused on our cellular devices, have headphones/earphones and are simply not paying appropriate attention to all that is occurring around them.
While most reading this message are adults, we believe that our many years of street crossing and neighborhood walking makes us immune to these types of accidents.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Let’s begin by remaining alert. If there is no sidewalk, please walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. Walk as far from the roadway as possible and reasonable.
Stop signs and red lights do not guarantee that a vehicle will stop. Do not assume that a vehicle will abide by traffic laws/signs. Attempt to make eye contact with the driver and, in an abundance of safety, always yield to oncoming vehicles.
Exit vehicles, whenever possible, from the passenger side.
Pedestrians and cyclists should exercise additional caution in areas of road construction as traffic patterns change during the course of the construction and drivers may become confused or disoriented.
Crossing major roadways can be perilous. Vehicles are moving at higher speeds, may have blind spots created by large trucks and, when turning, may not see a pedestrian jutting out from behind a parked vehicle or landscaping. These hazards increase exponentially during the dark of night.
Time spent discussing these matters with school-aged children is time well spent. While they may feel insulted when you broach this subject as they are “grown up” and “know how to cross a street,” please remind them that even adults are susceptible to these sorts of tragedies.
“Season” will soon be upon us; more people, more vehicles, more congestion. Let’s all be alert and cautious as we approach the holiday season.