Helpful tips for safe driving!

This might seem strange that I write a blog be about walking, but here goes. One of the most difficult and scary moments for a new driver comes when they approach pedestrians or bikers on the road. On my travels around the North Shore I have noticed that north  of Salem, something is lost in procedure of crossing the road. Maybe we forget the procedures because we don’t live in a BIG city.  You may be thinking, “What is she thinking? As a pedestrian I have the right of way”.  Well the answer is yes, you do; and NO, you don’t. Let’s discuss the answer NO.

As a pedestrian you are the most vulnerable on the street. You are given basic rules of conduct for your safety.. YES there are rules!

Crosswalks do give you the right of way… BUT.. Please use your common sense. There is no magic in the paint, no force-field surrounding the crosswalk. Just because you are in a crosswalk wait until the traffic on your side of the road STOPS – BEFORE you move forward. Before you proceed to the other side of the crosswalk make sure the other side STOPS before you proceed.

HINT FOR MOTHERS WITH CARRIAGES – Stand beside the carriage not behind.  I have lost count on the number of times I have slammed on the teaching brake because I saw little feet emerging from a bumper on the vehicle beside of the road.

FYI.. Did you know that the term “Jaywalking” originated in Boston? It started long ago as a politically incorrect slang term about individuals who move into the big city from the countryside. They were called “Jays”.  As the cities and traffic grew, so did crosswalks.  City people knew how and where to cross the street. A country “Jay” would just wander across the street and cause a disruption on the flow of traffic. Therefore the term.     Seems appropriate even today.

1. Make sure that the road is clear before you step into the road.
2. When walking or jogging move toward traffic. (on the left side) so you can watch the cars coming toward you.
3. If crossing the road, use a designated area for crossing.. crosswalk.. Even if a few feet from the crosswalk, you can be blocked from driver’s view. Just because your see the cars, they may not see you!
4. If crossing away from a crosswalk, stand away from the road, until the traffic clears. If you stand next to the road a driver might stop short in order to let you cross, and be rear-ended. Also, that rear-ended car could be pushed toward you and injury can easily occur.
5. If you do choose to “Jaywalk”, please do not expect drivers to stop or see you, please look both ways and try to cross when traffic is light or clear. If drivers are in a area with no crosswalks, they might not expect you to cross until they drive by you. If you are in an area with crosswalks, the driver may not see you between cars. Remember that crosswalks are placed in areas where the traffic is heaver, or in a commercial area.

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