Delaware Office of Highway Safety Promotes National Pedestrian Safety Month
October 29, 2020
Delaware Office of Highway Safety Promotes National Pedestrian Safety Month All Month Long
DOVER, Del. (October 29, 2020)– As the nationwide Pedestrian Safety Month Campaign comes to a close, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety wants to remind pedestrians and motorists to continue to be vigilant by practicing safe pedestrian habits and safe driving behaviors. People choose different modes of transportation based on what works well for their lifestyle, but at some point, or another, everyone is a pedestrian. Whether you are walking home, walking to a bus stop, or even just walking to your car in a parking lot, it is so critical that you walk bright. When pedestrians wear bright clothing or carry a light, it makes it much easier for drivers to see and avoid them.
“The Delaware Office of Highway Safety is committed to keeping Delawareans safe while traveling on our roads. Nighttime visibility is one of the most important pedestrian safety issues in our state. If you are a pedestrian, take the time to make sure you Walk Smart and Walk Bright. Carry a light and wear something reflective at night. If you are a driver, be on the lookout for pedestrians so that everyone can make it home safe,” Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.
“There have been 19 pedestrian fatalities so far in Delaware in 2020. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure that you are seen. At night, Walk Bright with a light or reflective material. Drivers and Pedestrians need to work together to get home safe,” Jackie McDermott, Pedestrian Safety Program Coordinator, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.
Daylight Savings Time
On Sunday, November 1, 2020, we will begin daylight savings time. When we role the clocks back, it will get darker earlier. This also means that people who work during the day and get off from work around 4:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. will now leave work when it is already dark outside. If you are a pedestrian, it is vital to Walk Bright. If you are a driver, you must stay alert and watch for pedestrians.
“As winter arrives and daylight hours recede, the importance of visibility for pedestrians continues to increase. Whatever your reason for walking on Delaware’s roadways, being a pedestrian with a reflective item or flashlight will increase your chances of doing so safely. Additionally, pedestrians should always cross at crosswalks when available, walk facing traffic or on the sidewalk, and avoid walking while impaired. As these dangers increase for pedestrians, it is imperative for drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, always be alert to your surroundings, slow down, and not drive impaired,” Richard Klepner, Deputy Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.
Although trick-or-treating and Halloween celebrations may be different this year because of COVID-19, adults and children will still be out celebrating and wearing costumes. OHS reminds pedestrians and drivers of the following safety tips during Halloween festivities:
- Walk on a sidewalk if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic, as far to the side as safely possible so you can move quickly out of the road if you feel threatened by traffic. Drivers do not expect to see pedestrians in the roadway or to come out from between parked cars or behind shrubbery. Expect that drivers will not see you and wait for them to pass.
- Follow the rules of the road at driveways and intersections. Cross with a traffic signal if there is one and even if you have the right of way, make sure traffic has stopped or passed before you step into the street. This will be easier to do if electronic devices do not distract you from picking up visual and auditory information about traffic.
- Make yourself as visible to motorists as possible, especially at night and in low light by carrying a flashlight, wearing a small flashing strobe light, and wearing reflective clothing. Bright colored clothing is not enough. Drivers need time to detect, identify, and react to an object they see in the road. The sooner they see you, the sooner they can react. Reflective materials on the parts of your body that move, such as feet, legs, and arms, can be seen at greater distances by drivers in the dark. Carry your flashlight on the side closest to traffic.
Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night. Alcohol affects judgment, balance, and reaction time. Create a “buddy system” to get each other home safely. Call a cab, take public transportation, or use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to help you call a sober friend or family member to pick you up. Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Avoid using handheld electronic devices.
- Remember that as soon as you step out of your car, you become a pedestrian.
- If you see a drunk driver or impaired pedestrian on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- Be especially alert for all road users, including pedestrians, at night.
- Slow down in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited. Keep your windshield clean.
- Plan ahead and ensure you have a safe ride home. Do not drive impaired. Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night. Alcohol affects judgment, balance, and reaction time. Create a “buddy system” to get each other home safely. Call a cab, take public transportation, or use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to help you call a sober friend or family member to pick you up.
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety will be partnering with the Delaware State Police and local law enforcement to conduct Impaired Driving Patrols from the evening of 10/30 through the early hours of 11/1.
Delaware Office of Highway Safety Resources
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety offers free resources that provide education and awareness regarding pedestrian safety. Free digital resources are available online at arrivealivede.com and ohs.delaware.gov. Please contact us to let us know how we can assist you in keeping our roads safe! You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat at @HighwaySafetyDE.
About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com.