News Flash Home
The original item was published from 10/15/2020 9:27:16 AM to 11/1/2020 12:00:11 AM.

News Flash

* City News Alerts *

Posted on: October 15, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Everyone is a Pedestrian!

Crosswalk, bicycle, and pedestrians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2020

October is Pedestrian Safety Month! Whether you are walking or driving, staying safe is a shared responsibility.


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Over the last few months, more people have taken to walking outdoors as an easy and healthy way to get out of the house. Whether it’s walking in a neighborhood or to a store, or even exiting a car in a parking lot, at some point in the day, everyone is a pedestrian.

This October, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the City of Charlottesville would like to remind people walking and driving that staying safe is a shared responsibility. Speeding, distraction and impairment are among the top most risky behaviors that affect safety on our roads.

While there are many actions that pedestrians can take to stay safe, there are more actions that only the driver can take — such as obeying the posted speed limit. “Following the speed limit isn’t just the law — it is a critical component to keeping pedestrians safe,” said Amanda Poncy, Charlottesville's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.

Driving at the posted speed limit provides the driver time to “see, identify, and react” in time to brake for pedestrians. If you are speeding, pedestrians can seem to “come out of nowhere.” This is especially true in neighborhoods and around schools. Even if you are going 35 mph in a 20 mph zone, it increases your vehicle’s stopping distance by more than 100 feet. In those few seconds, your vehicle will travel the length of a basketball court, and it could be too late to avoid hitting the pedestrian in front of you. 

As the end of Daylight Saving Time approaches and the nights get longer, the risks for pedestrians increase. From September to February, over 30% of pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. Also, things like drugs and alcohol, and distraction not only affect someone’s ability to drive, but to walk safely. 

Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads. 

“Sending or receiving an average text takes a driver’s eyes of the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blindfolded at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field,” said Poncy. “Those few seconds of distracted driving could result in hitting a pedestrian in front of you."

Pedestrian distraction is also a real problem; distraction changes the way pedestrians walk, react, and behave, including safety-related behaviors.

Here are some tips for drivers and pedestrians to keep each other safe on the road:

5 Walking Safety Tips

  1. Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If one isn’t available, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  2. Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
  3. Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians, and look for cars in all directions, including those turning. If neither are 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 and watch for traffic as you cross.
  4. Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
  5. Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.

5 Driving Safety Tips

  1. Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
  2. Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk. And, never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
  3. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see and stop for the crossing pedestrians.
  4. Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street. Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
  5. Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.

This October, and throughout the year, let’s work together to keep everyone safe on the roads.

Media Contact
Amanda Poncy
Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
City of Charlottesville
434-970-3720
poncy@charlottesville.gov

Learn more about road safety...
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in * City News Alerts *

Rivanna Waste logo

Rivanna Pump Station Bypass Pumping System Update

Posted on: February 16, 2024 | Last Modified on: December 12, 2023
Charlottesville Parks and Recreation

Tonsler Park Parking Lot to be Repaved

Posted on: February 15, 2024
National Burn Awareness Week 2024 CFD

CFD Recognizes Burn Awareness Week

Posted on: February 9, 2024
News Release CPD

CPD Recovers Drugs and Weapons in Search Warrant

Posted on: February 2, 2024 | Last Modified on: December 12, 2023
Rivanna Waste logo

Rivanna Pump Station Bypass Pumping System Update

Posted on: February 1, 2024 | Last Modified on: December 12, 2023
Leaf Collection Announcement 23-24

Leaf Collection to Resume

Posted on: January 25, 2024
Rivanna Waste logo

RWSA Water Main Break

Posted on: January 25, 2024 | Last Modified on: December 12, 2023
Rivanna Waste logo

Wastewater Treatment at the Moores Creek Advanced Water Resource Recovery Facility

Posted on: January 25, 2024 | Last Modified on: December 12, 2023
Phone Icon

City of Charlottesville to Perform System Maintenance on All Phone Services

Posted on: January 24, 2024 | Last Modified on: December 12, 2023
City Council Postponed

City Council Meeting Postponed

Posted on: January 16, 2024
News Release CPD

CPD Makes Arrest in Rivanna Trail Case

Posted on: January 12, 2024
News Release CPD

CPD Seeks Assistance Locating Suspect

Posted on: January 3, 2024
Public Works

Recycle Your Holidays Trees!

Posted on: December 20, 2023
Deputy Chief Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips Promoted to Deputy Fire Chief

Posted on: December 13, 2023
Leaf Collection Announcement 23-24

Leaf Collection has Begun

Posted on: November 1, 2023
Rivanna Waste logo

DRINKING WATER UPDATE

Posted on: September 12, 2023
Charlottesville Parks and Recreation

Tree Planting Planned for November

Posted on: September 1, 2023
Rivanna Waste logo

FREE LOCAL MULCH AT THE IVY MUC

Posted on: August 29, 2023
Logo for Charlottesville Acting on Climate Together

2023 Climate Action Work Plan Posted

Posted on: July 26, 2023
tax time

Taxes Due Monday, June 5, 2023

Posted on: May 30, 2023