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.


Lane Closures For Projects Start Saturday

ML King Boulevard will be closed for eastbound traffic between Market Street and Broad Street, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.  This building maintenance project is scheduled for 10 hours, and the roadway will reopen at 6:30 p.m. that day.  Detours will be posted.  The 200 block of Market Street will be narrowed to one lane northbound for installation of a ... (click for more)

Wearables Is The July Exhibit At River Gallery

The Wearables exhibit featuring Jenny Threads by Jen Swearington, jewelry by Mary Lynn Portera and jewelry by Katie Rogers will be at River Gallery July 1-31.   There will be an opening reception on Saturday, July 9, from 5-7 p.m. with the artists.   River Gallery is at 400 E. Second St.  Review for the exhibit:  River Gallery's ... (click for more)

Fire Destroys Highway 58 BBQ

A fire destroyed a barbeque restaurant on Highway 58 on Friday afternoon.   Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to the Highway 58 BBQ around 6 p.m. The business is located at 4921 Highway 58. Though the business was housed in a small building, the flames and smoke could be seen from a long distance away.  Captain Teri Rose with Quint 6 said the ... (click for more)

2nd Independent Candidate May Be On Walker County Ballot

A second Independent candidate may be on the ballot for sole commissioner of Walker County in the election on Nov. 8. Perry D. Lamb, Jr. has been working toward collecting the necessary 1,640 signatures of registered voters on a petition. His campaign said he is close to the goal. Incumbent Bebe Heiskell is running an an Independent. Election officials said since she was ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)