CRANFORD - Cranford schools are back in session this week so we can expect more traffic on our roads and students walking to school, increasing the risks of pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrian safety requires a community approach. To promote a safe first day back and entire school year ahead, the Cranford Pedestrian Safety Committee prepared the following tips and reminders for drivers, pedestrians, and homeowners based on federal, state, and local government guidance, as well as community best practices.
- Always yield to pedestrians entering and in crosswalks. The Cranford Police Department conducts regular checks to ensure drivers are respecting crosswalks.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when making a turn or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Always come to a full stop and check for pedestrians before turning right on red.
- Follow the speed limit, especially the 25 mile an hour school zones and where children are present.
- Stay off your phones. New Jersey has strict distracted driving laws against holding your phone to call, text, or even use navigation features. Keep your attention on the road and the phone out of your hand.
- Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Heads up, Phones Down. Don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions.
- If there isn’t a crosswalk or intersection, wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely. Watch for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure they see you.
- Trim hedges to ensure they don’t overgrow into sidewalks and streets, posing a danger to pedestrians and bikers.
- Take special care to maintain trees and bushes which can obstruct a safe line of sight for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, particularly around corners.
- Fix uneven or damaged sidewalks which can pose a danger to pedestrians or are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Homeowners are responsible for their sidewalks.
- Be sure cars parked in driveways do not block the sidewalks.
- During winter, shovel snow and ice off sidewalks promptly, including sidewalk ramps to ensure all members of our community have access safe walking routes.
- Be extra cautious when backing out of driveways to look out for pedestrians and cyclists which may cross into the path.
***Special thanks to the Cranford Pedestrian Committee for preparing these back to school safety tips. For questions or comments, please contact Brian Andrews of the Cranford Pedestrian Safety Committee at BJAndrews47@gmail.com