August is Pedestrian Safety Month and as part of a statewide effort to increase awareness about pedestrian safety, Hawai‘i Police Department is offering safety tips to motorists and pedestrians.
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to transportation, but at one time or another everyone is a pedestrian.
When drivers maintain safe speeds and practice other safe driving behaviors, safer walking environments are created for you, your loved ones, and others in our community. Pedestrians have to do their part too, from keiki to kupuna, in practicing safe habits while walking.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 6,516 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes across the U.S. in 2020. Locally, three pedestrians were killed on Hawai‘i Island in 2021 and four pedestrians have been killed so far this year as of August 3.
Here are some safety tips for drivers:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.
Safety tips for walkers:
- Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- 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.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
- Embrace walking as a healthy form of transportation – get up, get out, and get moving.
By everyone doing their part we can help reduce injuries and fatalities on Hawai‘i Island roadways.