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.


Organization Combatting Sex Trafficking In Chattanooga To Host Benefit On Thursday

7th Well, an organization based out of Chattanooga that works in the fight against sex trafficking, will be hosting its first benefit dinner at The Venue Chattanooga on Thursday at 7 p.m. Zach and Tess Brandon, the founders of 7th Well, will be hosting the first 7th Well benefit to raise funds for a home that will be used to rehabilitate young women after coming out of the sex ... (click for more)

ChattaNeuter Opens In Former Brainerd Animal Hospital Building

ChattaNeuter, Chattanooga’s new spay neuter clinic, 5950 Brainerd Road, is open to the public. "The Brainerd Animal Hospital served the community for 55 years before closing in 2014. ChattaNeuter has revitalized the building inside, adding updated equipment and a modernized interior with a few historic touches, and the outside has become an eye-catching piece of local artwork ... (click for more)

Boyd Says He Is Not On Witch Hunt Against CVB, But Intends To Seek Full Audit Of Agency; Graham Backs Visitors Bureau 100%

County Commission Finance Chairman Tim Boyd has told Chattanooga Visitors Bureau President Bob Doak that he is "not on a witch hunt" against the CVB, but he said he intends to seek a full audit of the agency. He said he was inspired to "take an even closer look" at the Visitors Bureau after he said Mr. Doak "unleashing a fire storm of emails condemning my accusations." ... (click for more)

Man, Child Killed In Crash On Highway 136 In Walker County; 2nd Child Who Was Seriously Injured Dies On Monday

A man and an unrestrained five-year-old child were killed when a vehicle went out of control on Highway 136 in Walker County on Saturday. A 10-year-old in the car was seriously injured, and later died on Monday. The driver was thrown from the van and was dead at the scene. The five-year-old was trapped in the vehicle and also died at the wreck site at Ponder Creek Road. ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Blackburn Good As Gone

I didn’t know until I read John Adams’ column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that one person who doesn't personally know UTC Athletic Director David Blackburn said he heard he has a drinking problem. I also didn’t know that “the best thing to ever happen to UTC athletics” had health problems, according to a second person who does not personally know him. It is also being said David ... (click for more)