So much energy is in the air as Carson City students get ready to go back to school next week. Parents, teachers, and students are all looking forward to the first day on Aug. 20. Not just school-aged families should be getting ready, however. The community needs to be prepared for school as well. As children ride their bikes or walk to school, drivers will need to be extra cautious to make sure everyone gets to where they are going safely. With this in mind, Carson City Health and Human Services wants to remind drivers and pedestrians of some important safety laws.
Safety is not just a good habit. In Nevada, it is the law (NRS 484B). Drivers must exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian at all times, and must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Even when a crosswalk is not painted in the roadway, crosswalks exist at every intersection and drivers should yield for pedestrians if they are present. One law that many drivers are unaware of is that they must stop or slow down before passing another vehicle stopped in a travel lane until they have determined whether that vehicle has stopped for a pedestrian. Drivers are not permitted to use a mobile device while driving, as it creates a distraction. Additionally, drivers must, in the presence of a school crossing guard, wait for all persons, including the guard, to completely clear the road before proceeding.
Pedestrians have responsibilities too, according to Nevada law. They must use the sidewalk and the nearest crosswalk, pedestrian bridge or tunnel when possible. Pedestrians must obey official traffic-control devices, and must walk on the left side of the street facing traffic if there is no sidewalk. Even though vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians, walkers should be sure to give vehicles plenty of time to stop by not suddenly walking into the path of a vehicle.
There are additional steps pedestrians can take to help ensure they get across the street safely:
Choose clothes made of light or bright colors that are easier for divers to see. If you are walking in low-light conditions, carry a light or a reflector to add extra visibility.
If possible, choose to walk in areas with sidewalks or a wide shoulder to give yourself space away from traffic.
ALWAYS look both ways for traffic before crossing a street. Before stepping in front of a vehicle, make sure the driver sees you, plans on stopping, and has time to stop.
Distractions can be deadly — Remove headphones and hang up your cell phone; texting can wait. Look up, pay attention, and be aware of the environment around you.
It is up to both drivers and pedestrians to make sure our roads are safe for everyone. If you are unsure whether to proceed, pause and wait until you are certain that you can do so safely. Taking a few seconds for safety can save a life, maybe your own. Let us all work together to improve the safety of Carson City’s streets.
For information about services and programs available to you through CCHHS, visit our website at gethealthycarsoncity.org, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/cchhs, or call us at 775-887-2190. You can also find us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.