Roadway responsibilities extend to all

  • Published
  • By Capt. Christopher J. McNamee
  • 66th Security Forces Squadron
The summer season is now in full swing and many are out getting fit while enjoying the warm sunshine. With an increase in foot traffic on base, the 66th Security Forces Squadron has received reports of near misses between pedestrians and drivers. 

Security forces would like to remind personnel of a few simple rules to stay safe when crossing the street.

All vehicles must yield to pedestrians crossing the street in a designated crosswalk. According to Massachusetts law, drivers are required to yield for pedestrians crossing on the driver's half of the street. Crosswalks are marked in accordance with standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Highways. 

Drivers should be aware that the crosswalks along Vandenberg Drive are especially busy as pedestrians cross between the base clinic and other nearby buildings; pay close attention to the area immediately following the 66 SFS Commercial Vehicle Search Area.

Pedestrians are encouraged to look both ways before crossing the street, as well as allowing ample time for vehicles to come to a complete stop. A vehicle traveling at 25 miles per hour takes almost half a football field to stop in ideal conditions, and significantly longer to stop in inclement weather.

Use caution when stepping out from behind trees, signs or other obstructions. Remember that if pedestrians are not able to see a vehicle operator, the vehicle operator can't see them. It is recommended that pedestrians make eye contact before crossing a street. 

Now that children are out of school for the summer, pay extra attention around base housing. Children will be out playing and there are many blind spots in the area. Remind children to never go chasing after toys and to always use caution if playing in the streets. Talk to your friends and neighbors about speeding. If you see someone driving in an unsafe manner, talk to them about it. We can all do our part to keep Hanscom housing safe for everyone.

Cyclists using roadways should keep in mind that they are required to obey all motor vehicle laws. This means they must come to a complete stop at stop signs, and also yield to pedestrians. Cyclists must obey all other traffic signals.

The most important safety tip to avoid injury is for vehicle operators and pedestrians to pay close attention to their surroundings and remain alert.