June 21-28 is Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety Week, ensuring that Hill Air Force Base remains a safe, livable community.
According to the U.S Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, livable communities are a high priority of the FHA and the Obama Administration. The FHA Web site, safety.fhwa.dot.gov, defines a livable community as one that provides safe and convenient transportation choices to all citizens, whether it's by walking, bicycling, transit or driving. Pedestrian fatalities comprise about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities annually in the U.S. with approximately 4,500 pedestrian deaths. The FHA also cites another 70,000 pedestrians injured annually in roadway crashes.
The following tips are issued by the FHA to keep Team Hill safe and compliant with local and federal laws.
Safety tips for pedestrians
Make yourself visible to drivers:
•Wear retro-reflective materials and bright or light-colored clothing. Many people are unaware that they are virtually invisible to drivers at night. Clothing with retro-reflective materials (such as Air Force issued reflective belts) can make you visible from as far as 500 feet away.
• Carry a flashlight when walking at night. Don't wear headphones. Use extreme caution when crossing the street -- assume that drivers cannot see you.
•Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars and other obstacles so drivers can see you.
Avoid dangerous behaviors:
•Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
•Be aware of the dangers of drinking and walking -- walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
•Watch for cars reversing in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
Look before you step:
• Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections if possible.
• Obey traffic signals such as walk/don't walk signals.
• Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look left, right, behind you and left again before crossing a street or stepping into traffic.
• Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop.
• Look across all lanes you must cross and make sure each lane is clear before proceeding.
Safety tips for drivers
Watch for pedestrians at all times:
• Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians.
• Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing.
• Don't drive distracted or after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
• For maximum visibility, keep your windshield clean and headlights on.
Yield to pedestrians at crossings:
• On a military installation, the pedestrian has the right of way.
• Stop or yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked.
• Stop or yield to pedestrians when making right or left turns at intersections.
• Do not block or park in crosswalks.
Drive the speed limit and avoid aggressive maneuvers:
• Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
• Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at stop signs.
• Always be prepared to stop for pedestrians, especially in residential areas and near schools
Tips for bicyclists
Utah law defines bicycles as vehicles, so all cyclists should follow Utah motor vehicle laws. The Utah Department of Transportation's Utah Bicycle Commuter Guide issues the following rules to keep cyclists safe:
• If cycling to work this summer, visit www.udot.utah.gov/walkingandbiking for a map of highway bike restrictions.
• A bicyclist must obey traffic lights, stop signs, one-way streets and other basic traffic laws.
• A bicycle may not carry more persons than it was designed for, except an adult may securely attach a child to a backpack.
• A bicyclist traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic must ride as near as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway, except to pass, make a left turn or avoid hazards.
• Persons may not ride more than two abreast except on paths exclusively used for bicycles.
• If a usable path exists for bicycles adjacent to a roadway, bicyclists must use the path and not the roadway.
• A bicyclist must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal when overtaking a pedestrian.
•A person may not operate a bicycle upon a sidewalk path or trail or in a crosswalk if prohibited. If not prohibited, then the bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
• When making a left-hand turn, the bicyclist may use the left turn lane just as a vehicle does; or cross the intersection as close to the right curb as practicable (like a pedestrian), then proceed in the new direction from the right curb.
•Bicyclists must signal intentions to turn right or left. The signal shall be at least 100 feet before turning and continuous so long as both hands are not needed, and shall be given while the bicyclist is stopped waiting to turn.
• Bicycle racing is prohibited on any highway or sidewalk except when approved by state or local authorities for special racing events.
•A bicyclist may not carry packages which prevent the use of both hands and shall keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
• Every bicycle in use after dark (a half- hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise) must be equipped with a white light lamp on front, red reflectors on the rear and reflective materials on both sides that are all visible for 500 feet. The rider may wear lights or reflectors in addition to those on the bicycle.