Hurricane Sandy has created a variety of challenges for pedestrians. Many sidewalks and trails are strewn with debris making walking a challenge and potentially dangerous. Tree limbs and post-storm remnants are piling up on streets making it necessary to skirt around sidewalk obstacles until they can be removed. Stay away from fallen telephone poles and wires; they may be live.
Along with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we’ve just returned to standard time. It gets dark just as commuters are heading home and after-school activities are concluding. This can create the "perfect storm" for pedestrians as more cars, less daylight and obstacles abound!
Now, more than ever, it’s important to be aware and alert when you’re walking. Be pro-active and heed these pedestrian tips to stay safe:
- Wear reflective or bright clothing to be visible to motorists, especially at night and during bad weather.
- Carry a flashlight or have reflective tape or accessories on your clothing to be visible.
- Walk on the sidewalk where possible.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk FACING traffic so that you can see oncoming cars.
- Do not walk in the street or bicycle lanes.
- Cross at the crosswalks – do not cross mid-block or between parked cars.
- Stay focused; don’t be a distracted pedestrian or talk on your cell phone.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing.
- Don’t assume that cars will stop for you when you step off the curb.
NOTE: Although New Jersey has a Pedestrian Safety Law requiring motorists to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks, you cannot assume that motorists will give you the right of way.
Additional pedestrian safety information is available here. Help your group, school or organization get the facts about safe walking. Call TransOptions at (973) 267-7600 to schedule a free pedestrian safety program.