Fairfield Police Department Offers Pedestrian and Driving Warm Weather Safety Tips

With warmer weather approaching and more people expected to be outdoors, Chief Robert Kalamaras and the Fairfield Police Department would like to remind drivers to share the road and remain attentive while driving.

On average, a pedestrian was killed every 88 minutes in traffic crashes during 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Spring is upon us and as the weather continues to get warmer and more residents venture outdoors, it’s a good time to offer a few reminders to keep everyone safe,” Chief Kalamaras said. “We would like to ask all residents to be mindful of pedestrians who are out walking, running and cycling. To avoid dangerous situations we are asking everyone to share the road this spring.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following safety tips:

Pedestrian Safety
  • Always use sidewalks when available, if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as possible.
  • Obey all pedestrian traffic signals.
  • When running, run against the flow of traffic and wear reflective gear.
  • When crossing a street use crosswalks wherever possible, yield to traffic and cross in well-lit areas.
  • Pay attention to cars turning.
  • Keep alert at all times; don’t use electronic devices that keep your eyes and ears off the road.
  • Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
  • 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.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
Driving Safety
  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
  • Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
  • While driving, ensure that your view is not obstructed. If you are turning at an intersection, and your view of oncoming traffic is partially obstructed, wait until you can see around the obstruction, scan for all roadway users (pedestrians and motorcyclists included), and proceed with caution.
  • 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 cross-walk 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 that you can’t see.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
  • Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.
Cycling Safety

Additionally, the NHTSA offers the following bicycle safety tips:

  • Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others, like a bike helmet, bright clothing (during the day), reflective gear, and a white front light and red rear light and reflectors on your bike (at night, or when visibility is poor).
  • Keep your head up and look ahead, not at the ground. You need to see what is coming up so you have time  to react and maneuver.
  • Ride one per seat, with both hands on the handlebars, unless signaling a turn.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic. This way, if the sidewalk ends, you are already riding with the flow of traffic. If crossing a street, motorists will look left, right, left for traffic. When you are to the driver’s left, the driver is more likely to see you.
  • Pass pedestrians with care by first announcing “on your left” or “passing on your left” or use a bell.
  • Plan your route—if driving as a vehicle on the road, choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds. Your safest route may be away from traffic altogether, in a bike lane or on a bike path.
  • Before riding at night, ask someone to help you check your visibility to motorists.
  • Maintain the bikes in your household. Keep chains clean and lubricated and periodically inspect brake pads.

The Fairfield Police Department hopes all residents enjoy the warm weather safely and responsibly.