Friday, January 23, 2015

Pedestrian safety

A new idea for pedestrian safety -- and some old reliables

Pedestrian safety is getting new attention on our island. 

Police are monitoring intersections and crosswalks after a string of accidents that left three pedestrians dead in the first nine days of the year.

Drivers are doing their part to help. Some have started using their cars’ hazard warning signals when stopped at a crosswalk. That activates flashers at the front and back of the car, alerting other drivers coming from both directions. (Tip: Be sure to turn the hazard signals off before you resume driving – they should never be used when the vehicle is in motion.)

Here are other basic tips for keeping our roads safe for pedestrians.

If you’re driving, the Hawaii Department of Transportation says:

  • Stop when pedestrians are in a crosswalk on your half of the road. 
  • On a multilane street, stop when you see that a car going in your direction has stopped at a crosswalk. 
  • Don’t change lanes when you’re in or approaching a crosswalk. 

If you’re on foot, the Transportation Department’s Walk Wise Hawaii says:

  • Use available crosswalks. 
  • Don’t enter a crosswalk if the “Don’t Walk” signal is flashing or solid red. 
  • Continue to the other side or to a safety island if you’re in an intersection when the signal changes to “Don’t Walk.”
  • Use common sense - donʻt walk into a lane before you know oncoming traffic is going to stop.

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