Police Offer Tips During Pedestrian Safety Month
No matter how you choose to travel, at one point or another it’s your feet that get you where you need to go.
August is Pedestrian Safety Month. As part of a statewide effort to increase awareness about pedestrian safety, the Hawai‘i Police Department is offering safety tips to motorists and pedestrians.
When drivers maintain safe speeds and practice other safe driving behaviors, a safer walking environment is created for the community. Pedestrians from keiki to kūpuna have to do their part, too, in practicing safe habits.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,516 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2020 throughout the United States. On the Big Island, three pedestrians were killed in 2021 and four have been killed so far this year.
“By everyone doing their part, we can help reduce injuries and fatalities on Hawai‘i Island roadways,” a media release from the police department said.
Here are some safety tips for drivers:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop, too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There might be people crossing where you can’t see.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.
Police offered these safety tips for pedestrians:
- Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.