MARTINSBURG – At some point in the day, every person becomes a pedestrian and, unfortunately, the number of pedestrians killed remains high.
October is Pedestrian Safety Month, and Berkeley County Sheriff Nathan Harmon has said it’s important to understand the rules of the road both as a driver and as a pedestrian.
“I think the initiative is great, because even though we have probably heard it grow, we still need to remind ourselves and educate ourselves on what we can do to make ourselves safer and more aware that, like the pedestrians are on the roadway, it is always good practice to always make sure that we are always aware of our surroundings, âsaid Harmon.â Unfortunately, we had this accident not so long ago that involved a pedestrian struck. “
In a press release from the WV Department of Transportation and the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, he said that in 2019, 6,205 pedestrians died across the country. In West Virginia, 31 pedestrians were killed by drivers in the same year.
“That’s why the West Virginia governor’s highway safety program is partnering with the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to observe National Pedestrian Safety Month in October,” the statement said.
Incidents of distracted walking, through loss of focus on the environment, are on the increase, according to statistics.
“You see a lot of them in the last generations, a lot of people are wearing headphones or are on the phone while walking and to hear traffic noise if we are walking and can hear horns and stuff, we won’t hear any. of those things if we have both headphones, âHarmon said.
âI always insist on the rider rule – vehicles giving this rider a 3-foot cushion of space when they meet them, and it really shouldn’t be any different for pedestrians,â Harmon added. “As the driver of a vehicle, we must exercise caution and safety.”
According to the statement, the following tips can help pedestrians stay safe: use caution when putting phones away and keeping your head up; stay alert and do not wear headphones; walk on the sidewalk, and if there is no sidewalk, walk in front of traffic; follow road signs and signals; cross at crosswalks, or if they are not available, make sure you can see traffic; make eye contact with drivers and look both ways; avoid weakening from drugs and alcohol while walking; children under 10 must cross with an adult; use a flashlight at night and wear bright and / or reflective clothing.
In addition, drivers are responsible for the safety of pedestrians. Be careful and do not use cellular devices or be distracted, obey all traffic laws and obey all speed limits, be careful, give way and make eye contact with pedestrians, never cross stopped vehicles at crosswalks and never driving under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs are the primary ways in which drivers can be responsible for keeping pedestrians safe this month and every month.
For more information on pedestrian safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety.
For more information on the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, visit www.dmv.wv.gov/ghsp or call 304-926-2509.