Georgia State Officials Join Pedestrian, Bike Safety Advocates To Urge Wearing Reflective Gear

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is joining pedestrian and bicycle safety partners to remind both walkers and riders to wear reflective gear as winter continues and days remain darker.  

Data shows that in 2012, there were an estimated 132 pedestrian fatalities in Georgia. That accounts for 11 percent of all traffic deaths. While that number is below the national average of 14 percent, it still accounts for far too many deaths, the majority of which are happening at night. In 2011, 70 percent of all nationwide pedestrian fatalities happened at night, with 32 percent happening between 8 p.m. and midnight and 24 percent happening between midnight and 4 a.m. 

“Walking, jogging or riding your bike is a great way to get exercise as well as being a necessity for many people getting to and from work,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “But we want to make sure people are being safe as pedestrians and cyclists. This is the darkest time of year so it’s essential that you wear bright clothes and reflective gear to stay safe on our roads.” 

While pedestrians can help keep themselves safe by always walking on sidewalks and crossing at crosswalks where available, cyclists can also stay safe by riding with the flow of traffic, said officials. In Georgia, cyclists also have the added benefit of a relatively new law requiring vehicles to pass cyclists with a minimum of three feet. Both can be helped by wearing bright clothes and making sure reflectors are properly displayed on bicycles. 

“The easiest way for pedestrian, cyclists and motorists to share the road safely is for everyone to be aware of their surroundings” said Director Blackwood. “Wearing reflective clothes, especially now when the days are shorter, is an easy way to keep yourself visible.” 

Here are safety tips for both drivers and pedestrians and cyclists: 

Pedestrians: Walk on a sidewalk whenever available; walk facing traffic if no sidewalk is available; cross at crosswalks; cross in a well-lit area if no crosswalk is available; make eye contact with drivers as they approach you; wear reflective materials; and refrain from using cell phones, ear phones or other electronic devices while walking to minimize distractions. 

Cyclists: Ride on the road; obey all traffic laws; use front and rear lights if riding in low-light or at night; flow with traffic and signal your intentions; wear bright, reflective clothing; maintain a consistent line of travel; don’t weave in and out of lanes. 

Motorists: Look out for pedestrians everywhere; be prepared to stop when approaching a crosswalk; be on the lookout for pedestrians in hard-to-see conditions; never pass vehicles at a crosswalk; give cyclists three feet of passing space; refrain from tailgating a cyclist.


This Week In The Arts

This week in the Arts: Thursday, February 11 The Royal Family at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre Free Family Night Presented by Publix and TVA at the Creative Discovery Museum Cocktails in Color at the Hunter Museum of American Art Going Dutch: Old Masters Painting Techniques with Cindy Procious at Townsend Atelier River Gallery's Valentine's Block Party  ... (click for more)

Salvation Army To Host Second Annual Mardi "Bra" Party Friday

The Salvation Army realizes that most shelters are typically run by men and the majority of guests are men. Feminine hygiene items and bras are rarely donated because they are pricey and often forgotten. This is very challenging for homeless women, said officials. The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary became aware of this need and created the idea of a "Mardi Bra Party," a party ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principals Say Part 1 Of TN Ready Testing Should Be Cut Due To Online System Failure

Hamilton County principals are asking that Part 1 of the TN Ready Assessment be dropped this year due to the recent crash of the online system for the program. The principals also asked that any Part 1 TN Ready test results  not be applied to students’ grades or to evaluations and rankings for school personnel and school districts. The local principals also ... (click for more)

Greenholtz Collects $71,641 For Criminal Court Judge Campaign; Little Has $22,850; Patterson $20,134

Judge Tom Greenholtz reported $71,641 received for his campaign to remain as judge of Criminal Court, Division II. He was named by Governor Bill Haslam as the interim replacement for Judge Rebecca Stern, who retired before her term was up. Mike Little had $22,850, and Boyd Patterson received $20,134. Here is the report for Tom Greenholtz: ... (click for more)

What Our Schools Are And Have Been Doing About Bullying

Bullying has been a widely discussed topic during the last few weeks in the wake of the incident involving the Ooltewah High basketball team.  Contrary to public opinion, Hamilton County Schools have not been passive in our efforts to address bullying now or for the past several years.  Unfortunately, bullying is a societal norm that is infiltrating our school community, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Warmth For Cold Days

I come across all sorts of warm things every day and as we burrow out of sub-freezing temperatures for a day or two, shaking off ice and snow, allow me to share a few things for a change that may take the bite out of the winter wind. This is what helps me. * * * Judy Bellenfant, who has been a soul mate ever since we shared jokes in high school classrooms, sends along this ... (click for more)