Crosswalk Safety: Remain alert to avoid injury

  • Published
  • By Capt. Christopher J. McNamee
  • 66th Security Forces Squadron
The temperature is getting warmer and the snow is finally beginning to melt. If you're like me and enjoy taking advantage of the warmer weather to go for a walk or run on base, you might want to take some time to think about base traffic safety before you use crosswalks and running paths.

A few basic rules of the road, as outlined in Air Force Manual 31-116, 66th Air Base Group Supplement: "Hanscom Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision," are as follows:

- Pedestrians in marked crosswalks have the right of way with limitations. A pedestrian does not have the right to walk out in front of oncoming traffic, even in marked crosswalks.

- Operators of motor vehicles will yield the right of way to pedestrians who have already entered a crosswalk.

- Pedestrians should not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. An average vehicle traveling 25 miles per hour takes approximately 155 feet, or half a football field, to come to a complete stop in normal driving conditions.

- Pedestrians and joggers must use jogging paths and sidewalks when available; if no path or sidewalk exists or is available, pedestrians and joggers may use the street.

- Pedestrians and joggers will not cross roadways without first ensuring the roadway is clear of traffic.

With the amount of snow that remains on base, it is even more important to look both ways before crossing a street.

Vehicle operators and pedestrians should be especially cautious at the intersection of Vandenberg Drive and Eglin Street near the base clinic, as well as along Marrett Street and Heritage Road where many children and parents cross for school. These areas experience a high volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic with many blind corners.

The most important safety tip to avoid injury is for vehicle operators and pedestrians to pay close attention to their surroundings and remain alert. Maintain awareness of your surroundings and be safe as we transition into spring.