When it comes to traffic safety, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that, across the board, traffic fatalities are decreasing. But the bad news is that we have entered a period of record highs for pedestrian traffic deaths.
Children can't drive, so when they need to get from point A to B, they usually walk or ride a bicycle. Therefore, parents need to teach their children well about pedestrian and cycling safety. Starting from a young age, here are some of the best principals parents will want their children to fully understand:
Most people will agree that one of the more dangerous driving scenarios is to be on a jammed freeway jockeying for position among a sea of commuters heading to work or home. That's certainly true, as many California drivers can attest.
You know the dangers of jogging and walking near traffic. Even when you have the right of way -- in a crosswalk, for instance -- you can get hit by a driver who does not yield and perhaps never sees you at all. This is especially a problem at dusk and dawn, when it's still fairly dark and you can blend into the shadows.
You decide to walk to the grocery store. It is a half hour walk, so you grab your headphones, plug them into your phone, and turn on your favorite playlist while you walk down the sidewalk. It's a great way to give yourself a bit more time to relax and enjoy the music while still running an errand.
You're about to cross the street, but you wonder if the cars will be able to stop in time to avoid striking you. Whether you have the right of way or not, you do not want to put yourself in danger. What sort of stopping distance does a driver typically need to avoid hitting you?
The roadways of Hayward and Northern California are filled with painted lines. Double yellow lines. Broken white lines. Lines for a bike lane. Lines for a turn lane.
With the start of the fall semester at Cal State East Bay, we're going to see an influx of young people returning to Hayward. That means more cars and more pedestrians, and drivers need to be a lot more cautious.
The City of Hayward is continuing work on its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The goal is to build upon the 2007 Bicycle Master Plan to find ways to improve the convenience and safety for walkers and bikers.
Californians always know to be careful on the roads. This generally applies to drivers, but pedestrians may also be at risk. Anyone near cars and trucks should keep an eye out for their own safety.