Contributed by Dan Tapper, Deputy Chief of LHPOA Security
As daylight hours are now getting shorter, we wanted to bring to your attention one issue of concern. Our patrol staff has noted quite a number of people walking our streets at dusk or after dark that are very hard for motorists to see. With that in mind and to stay safe while walking around Lake Heritage, here are a few suggestions:
- Walk Facing Traffic When Walking on the Side of the Road
Since there are no sidewalks in Lake Heritage you must walk on the side of the road. Always choose the side where you are facing oncoming traffic. This gives you the best chance to see traffic approaching closest to you and take evasive action when needed. Many motorists are unaware of the “pedestrian right of way” rule.
- Cross Safely
Look both ways before crossing any street. Make eye contact with any drivers who may be turning. Give them a wave. Make sure they see you
- Walk Single File
This is especially important on our roads with lots of curves and where traffic has only a split-second chance of seeing you before hitting you. If you insist on walking side-by-side, a safe action would be to temporarily go single file as a car approaches.
- Be Visible
Wear bright colors when walking in daytime. When walking at night, wear light-colored clothing and reflective clothing or a reflective vest to be visible. Drivers are often not expecting walkers to be out after dark, and you need to give them every chance to see you. Be just as cautious at dawn or twilight, as drivers still have limited visibility or may even have the setting or rising sun directly in their eyes. If you are dog walking, a reflective leash or collar for your pet is recommended. If you don’t have any reflective gear, we have a small quantity of belts available at the Community Center Office courtesy of our Safety and Security Committee.
- Keep the Volume Down
Don’t drown out your environment when listening to your earbuds or headphones. Keep the volume at a level where you can still hear approaching cars, bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners.
- Hang Up and Eyes Up
Chatting, texting, or playing games like Pokemon Go on a mobile device while you walk is as dangerous as doing those things while driving.
- Carry ID
Always carry some form of identification in case of an accident or medical emergency.