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.


Special Event Street Closures For Sept. 1-6

Here are the special event street closures for Sept. 1-6.  Thursday, Sept. 1 UTC Football Home Games: The Chattanooga Mocs announced the 2016 football schedule today.  UTC has an 11-game schedule set for the fall, including six home contests at Finley Stadium beginning with the opening game on Thursday. Road closures include Reggie White Boulevard in front of First ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Elected Officials Swearing In Ceremony Is Thursday

Hamilton County Government will host the Inaugural Ceremony of Hamilton County Officials on Thursday, 9 a.m., in the Chattanooga Convention Center's Ballroom E. Elected officials to be sworn in at the ceremony are Criminal Court Division II Judge Tom Greenholtz, Assessor of Property Marty Haynes, and School Board Members Rhonda Thurman, Kathy Lennon, Tiffanie Robinson, and ... (click for more)

City Councilman Larry Grohn To Run For Mayor Of Chattanooga

City Councilman Larry Grohn said Tuesday he plans to make a race for mayor of Chattanooga. Mr. Grohn, who will be giving up his District 4 seat on the council, said he has been "extremely frustrated" with the administration of Mayor Andy Berke. It is not yet known whether Mayor Berke, the former state senator, will seek a second term. City Councilman Ken Smith from District ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Short Term Vacation Rental Operators Praise System; Freeman Says Council Has To Get Some Rogue Operators Under Control

A host of Chattanooga residents who make extra income and meet new friends by renting out their homes told City Council members on Tuesday that short term vacation rentals are part of the new way of living. Commission Chairman Moses Freeman said those who came to the public hearing do it right, but he said a new ordinance is necessary because some who are not responsible "cause ... (click for more)

Colin Kaepernick Is The Epitome Of American Patriotism

As the mother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt, and former wife of present active duty and veterans several times over, it isn't the patriotism of NFL player Colin Kaepernick I question, but the patriotism of those who are attacking him. Kaepernick is the epitome of all things this country is suppose to stand for and challenge. If he's attacked for taking a stand then everything this ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How Tenure Destroys Kids

When the California Supreme Court announced last week that it would not hear a landmark case (Vergara v. California) you didn’t hear much about it, but when Hamilton County employs almost 30 percent of teachers that are deemed to be “the least effective” by any measure, it’s time for somebody outside our classrooms to start paying very close attention. I was amazed that last ... (click for more)