SANTA BARBARA, Ca. June 23, 2014 – Walking is a great way to stay in shape, but it can also have some hidden dangers when crossing the streets or busy intersections. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department offers these tips that pedestrians can use to be safe.
1. Cross at the crosswalk. Don’t cross in the middle of the street. The lines in the crosswalk help remind drivers to watch out for pedestrians
2. Stop before you start to cross the street. Look to the left, right, and left again. Cross when it is clear.
3. Make eye contact with the driver before you cross in front of a car. Sometimes drivers don’t see you.
4. If there is a pedestrian signal at an intersection, don’t start to cross when it is flashing red.
Some Myths and Facts about pedestrian safety:
Myth: A green light means it is safe to cross. Fact: A green light means you should look for traffic and only cross if it’s safe. Be sure to keep looking for cars coming or turning while you are crossing.
Myth: You are safe in a crosswalk. Fact: Sometimes drivers make mistakes. Always make sure it is safe to cross, even at a crosswalk.
Myth: If you see the driver, the driver sees you. Fact: The driver may not see you. Make sure the driver sees you and stops before you cross in front of the car. Try to make eye contact with the driver.
Myth: The driver will always stop if you are in a crosswalk or at a green light. Fact: The driver’s view may be blocked. The driver may go through a red light. The driver may turn and not look for pedestrians.
Myth: White clothes at night make it easy for drivers to see you. Fact: White clothes can be hard to see. Carry a flashlight. Wear reflective clothing. Walk facing traffic.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department offers these tips for pedestrians to remember while walking or exercising so that they can do it safely.