101 Critical Days: Pedestrian safety not just a 'one-way street'

  • Published
  • By Steve Serrette
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Safety Office
As we continue to enjoy the warm weather and the ongoing Critical Days of Summer, many of us use walking as a form of exercise. We have to walk after exiting our vehicles in parking lots, creating a special awareness from both vehicle operators and pedestrians.

We are fortunate at Tinker that we have very few vehicle-pedestrian mishaps. However, one is too many if YOU are that one.

The 72nd Air Base Wing Safety Office has looked at why these types of mishaps occur and has discovered that many pedestrians think that an impervious shield will protect them from a 3,000-pound vehicle. Our study determined that this shield, sometimes referred to as a crosswalk, provides no protection to pedestrians. Seriously, many vehicle-pedestrian mishaps do occur in crosswalks and in parking lots.

So let's look at how we can protect ourselves while walking in parking lots and crossing roadways.

Pedestrian Safety Rules
· Always use crosswalks when available.
· Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
· Wear light colored clothing when walking at night or in the early morning.
· Look in every direction vehicles can approach you.
· Watch drivers making right-on-red turns to ensure they see you.
· If a bus or other large vehicle is blocking your view, it is also blocking the view of a driver in the other lane. Proceed with caution.
· During sunrise and sunset be aware that the sun may affect the driver's ability to see you.
· Just because the driver in one lane stops for you, don't assume other drivers see you or will stop for you. Check each lane before you cross.
· State law requires pedestrians not using a crosswalk to yield the right-of-way to vehicles.
· Speed limit in a parking lot is 5 mph unless otherwise posted.
· Drivers shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks.
· The entire base is a no-passing zone.
WARNING: You are respons-ible for your own safety. Be careful!