Monday, December 27, 2010

5 Dangerous Days Remain To Reach Safety Goal

Could these final five days be the most dangerous of the year for pedestrians? This week will compete with any other for the number of parties involving alcohol. We’re anticipating five days of rain right through to Saturday, and fireworks on New Year’s Eve could reduce visibility to near zero as it has in other years.

More drivers will have more toys to play with in the week after Christmas, meaning more vehicles will be steered by drivers with one eye on the road and one on the text message they’re sending or receiving. (You see it nearly every time you’re out and about.)

Oahu has not recorded a pedestrian death this month, a goal we optimistically held out there after several such deaths in October and November.

One person died early in December after being struck by a vehicle while on private property, so that death won’t be added to the official pedestrian statistics. Cyclist Zachary Manago was killed by a hit-and-run driver near Wahiawa, and a Mililani man has been arrested after Manago's friends located a vehicle thought to be involved.

Everybody’s Responsible

As Ryan Tishken’s letter to the editor in the Star-Advertiser noted on Christmas Eve:

“Everyone is to blame for the high number of pedestrian fatalities each year.
“Pedestrians: You think because you are in a crosswalk you are automatically invincible and cars will just see you. You cross when you are not supposed to (there is a reason for the ‘Don’t Walk’ sign); you are too lazy to walk to the crosswalk; you wear dark clothes at night; you are texting on your phone, listening to music or just not paying attention to what’s going on.
“Drivers: You are on the phone, eating, doing makeup, etc. (makes it a little hard to focus on the actual driving of the car); you are speeding to work or late for something (leave earlier); you are not driving correctly or just getting lazy (not waiting to turn right on the green arrow only, not looking in your blind spot, not using turn signals, etc.).
“City/county/state: Many crosswalks are faced, not well lit in most cases, sometimes in places that drivers would least expect them (no traffic light or intersection nearby), andor the crosswalks have no reflectors to help alert drivers.
“A New Year’s resolution: Why don’t we all take some responsibility?”

In this most dangerous week of the year, we all must assume that responsibility.

No comments: