ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Pedestrian safety is a two-way street.
That’s according to the American Automobile Association.
Quenna Davis-Martin, Occupational Safety and Health specialist in the 78th Air Base Wing Safety Office, said drivers should remain aware of their surroundings, including those on foot, bicycle or otherwise.
“As a vehicle operator, when approaching a crosswalk, begin to anticipate a pedestrian is crossing the street and reduce your speed,” she said. “After scanning left and right of the crosswalk, if no pedestrian is visible, continue to drive at the posted speed limit. However, if a pedestrian is present, come to complete stop, get eye contact with the pedestrian, and allow them to cross the street, then continue to drive at the posted speed limit.”
Likewise, Davis-Martin said pedestrians must remain alert as they’re out and about.
“As a pedestrian, it’s your responsibility before entering the crosswalk, to look both ways for vehicle traffic,” she said. “If a vehicle is approaching, get eye contact with the operator, make sure they come to a complete stop, then proceed across. During hours of darkness, follow the same procedures and also wear some type of light colored clothing or reflective material for visibility. Practice good cross walking procedures: look left, look right, and look left again.”
Distracted driving is a danger to both drivers and pedestrians, Davis-Martin said.
“Cell phones are the number one cause of distraction for both drivers and pedestrians,” she said. “The advent of the smartphone has resulted in a sharp increase in distracted driving. Drivers today will often engage in texting, emailing, surfing the web, posting on social media, and others. All these actions are extraordinarily dangerous. It pulls the driver's eyes and attention off the road and the hands off the steering wheel, increasing the likelihood of serious accidents.”
Davis-Martin said pedestrians can also increase their risk of being hit by a car if they use their smartphone device while walking.
“Looking down at a cell phone might result in a pedestrian walking out into traffic, ignoring a traffic signal, or even stumbling into the path of an oncoming vehicle,” she said.
State traffic laws are applicable to on base roadways and crosswalks where both drivers and pedestrians could face fines.
For more information on pedestrian safety, call 78th Air Base Wing Safety Office at 478-926-6271.