Motorists, walkers, runners and cyclists all must be alert on roadways to ensure everyone’s safety
By Christina Harp, 412th Test Wing Occupational Safety
/ Published May 12, 2021
Motorists and pedestrians sharing the roadway can be inherently dangerous unless everyone stays alert. While pedestrians have the right of way, they must also follow the rules of the road. Everyone has a responsibility and should be prepared to share the road, especially on a military installation where fitness is a daily activity for many people.
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicular traffic. Ride with the traffic either in the bicycle lane or to the far right of traffic. Stay visible during times of reduced visibility by wearing brightly colored or fluorescent clothing. Don’t forget to wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet while on base. That includes everyone. Use hand signals to let vehicles know your intentions and do not wear headphones or ear buds while riding on base.
Joggers should pick a place separate from traffic to jog. There are many trails around the base as well as designated jogging and walking paths. Maps of these paths are available on the 412th Force Support Squadron website under Services or at the Rosburg Fitness Center. If this is not possible, then use the sidewalk or stay as far to the right as possible and jog against the flow of traffic. You want to see what’s coming your way. Do not wear headphones or ear buds while jogging or walking along the roadway while on base. Remain off the roadways during peak traffic hours – generally Monday-Friday 6-8 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. Always cross the street at intersections or crosswalks, wear brightly colored clothing or reflective gear during times of reduced visibility, and it always helps to carry a flashlight when dark.
Motorists need to slow down during times of reduced visibility and be alert for bicyclists or joggers, especially during the early morning hours or as the sun sets. When approaching a bicyclist or jogger, move over. In fact, the state requires you to move over at least three feet for a bicyclist. Do the same for a jogger on the roadway.
Watch for pedestrians in crosswalks! Pedestrians at a marked or unmarked crosswalk have the right of way. We may be accustomed to the crosswalks near the schools on base (Don’t forget the newly painted crosswalks at the new schools.) but we also have many other marked crosswalks, some with flashing lights for added awareness. For example, Lancaster Boulevard and Kincheloe Avenue have crosswalks that accommodate joggers, walkers and bicyclists along a path that starts at the base gym, leads behind the Base Exchange and Commissary and into base housing. While the crosswalk on Lancaster Boulevard has flashing lights and is the busier of the two, the crosswalk on Kincheloe Avenue requires the motorist and jogger or bicyclist to remain even more vigilant. The pedestrian or bicyclist should make eye contact with the motorist before crossing while the motorist must slow down, use caution and be prepared to stop.
Everyone should remain attentive of their surroundings when motorists and pedestrians use the roadway.