The Thousand Oaks Police Department continues to promote traffic safety within the community. In an effort to recognize certain hazards while driving, the Traffic Bureau is continuing a monthly traffic awareness reminder program, addressing a traffic topic each month. While we focus on a specific topic each month, it’s always imperative to constantly strive to follow all rules of the road. The month of January is dedicated to “Pedestrian Awareness”.
We rarely are more vulnerable than when walking in urban areas, crossing busy streets and negotiating traffic. And we all are pedestrians from time to time, so it’s important to pay attention to what is going on around us. We are losi ng focus on our surroundings and putting our safety – and the safety of others – at risk. The solution: Stop using phones while walking, and not just in crosswalks and intersections. Over half of distracted walking injuries occur in our own neighborhood, proving that we need to stay aware of our surroundings, whether they’re new or familiar.
While many communities are implementing measures to become more “walkable,” like adding more paths and traffic-calming measures, there still is a long way to go to keep pedestrians safe. Malls surrounded by parking lots, few sidewalks, blind intersections and high traffic areas all contribute to pedestrian fatalities and injuries.
In order to stay safe, here are some important safety tips you as a pedestrian can follow:
1. Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
2. Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
3. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
4. Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
5. Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
6. 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.
7. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
8. Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
9. Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
10. Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
Alon g with those safety tips, here are some tips you as a driver can follow:
1. Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
2. Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
3. Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
4. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the cross-walk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
5. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
6. Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
7. Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
8. Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
9. Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.
Let’s all do our part and keep each ot her safe.
The Thousand Oaks Traffic Bureau encourages you to look out for each other. Let’s have a great and safe New Year!
For more information on pedestrian awareness, please visit:
Thousand Oaks Police Department