North Hempstead, NY
– North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan has announced that she would like to remind residents to take precautions with regard to pedestrian safety this fall and winter season.
After the Autumn Equinox on September 21, each following day gets darker by two minutes until the Winter Solstice on December 21. Additionally, when clocks were set back one hour on November 3rd, marking the end of daylight savings time, evening daylight was cut short by one hour with the sun now setting before 5:00pm.
Despite dwindling daylight this time of year, Councilwoman Kaplan said many people still continue to walk in the dark for exercise and religious observances. “We are urging our community to be alert, walk cautiously and take extra precautions to be seen at night,” said Councilwoman Kaplan. “We want everyone to know that by having both the pedestrian and drivers more aware we can help prevent future accidents.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year in the U.S., there are nearly 4,300 pedestrian fatalities and an estimated 70,000 are injured in traffic accidents. Thirty percent of the pedestrian fatalities occurred between 8 p.m. and midnight.
Another important note is that seniors have a higher rate of pedestrian accidents than any other age group. Concerned members of the Project Independence Great Neck Advisory Committee have formed a Pedestrian Safety Group to help circulate these safety tips:
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY TIPS FROM THE TOWN OF NORTH HEMPSTEAD
- Use crosswalks! Sometimes pedestrians can cause an accident by crossing between cars or mid-block. A majority of pedestrian fatalities occur where drivers do not expect a pedestrian.
- Press the crosswalk button for the maximum crossing time. Wait until the beginning of a crosswalk cycle to begin crossing.
- Before you start crossing, make sure you look in all directions for oncoming vehicles, especially for turning vehicles.
- If you are not sure if a driver has seen you, let the car go before attempting to cross the street.
- Make sure the driver acknowledges you and stops fully. Also check to be sure that there isn’t another car travelling next to it that does not see you.
- Don’t trust the system! Drivers are more distracted than ever, and many fail to yield to pedestrians’ right of way. Look out for yourself; don’t trust that drivers will stop for you. Wait until it is safe before stepping into the street.
- Be seen! Reflective materials are more visible at night than wearing white because instead of absorbing light, they reflect light back. Reflective tape along with blinking lights can be purchased at all of our local hardware stores and 99-cent stores. (Remove reflective tape from garments before washing.)
If there is an intersection where there is not adequate time to cross, make a note of it and inform the Town through 311 or (516) 869-6311. The Town will then report problems with lights and crossing signals to the appropriate authority. You can also call 311 to obtain more information about the Town of North Hempstead’s Project Independence program.