Marines

Drivers, pedestrians reminded of crosswalk safety

15 Jul 2011 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

Due to a recent incident when a Marine was hit by two cars near the French Creek area and additional traffic mishaps aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the Base Safety Office would like to reiterate the importance of crosswalk safety.  

“Every month, we have on average 140 to 160 traffic mishaps,” said John Abney, Traffic Safety Program Manager.

Drivers should be aware of pedestrians in crosswalks, near crosswalks or approaching crosswalks, especially on the main side of base which has the majority of crosswalk concentration.

According to Chapter 20 of North Carolina General Statutes, “the driver of any vehicle upon a highway within a business or residence district shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing such highway within any clearly marked crosswalk, or any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block, except at intersections where the movement of traffic is being regulated by traffic officers or traffic direction devices.”

High foot-traffic areas include gyms, the headquarters building, the ID card center, the Ball Center, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.  

“Be a conscious and observant driver,” said Abney. “Distracted driving is probably one of the biggest offenses we have aboard base.”

Pedestrians should also be aware of their role when crossing the road.

“There’s a reason why we have the crosswalks set up the way we do,” said Abney. “We have an overabundance of them, so there’s really no excuse to not use them.”

Those using crosswalks should always look both ways, make eye contact with the driver and make sure they can be seen before crossing the road.

“The majority of crosswalks are lit, but right now we have to worry about the fog a little more because of the heat,” said Abney.

Pedestrians should never have to run across the road.

“You should be able to walk at a casual pace,” said Abney. “If you’re running there are several problems that could occur. You could trip or fall down and a car could be coming and not see you.”

Those engaged in physical training are also advised to take precautions while exercising on roadways.

According to MCB Camp Lejeune order 5560.2M chapter 5, “Individuals, pedestrians or stragglers from formations engaged in physical training will avoid impeding the normal flow of traffic. They must remain farther than six feet from any roadway. They will wear reflective gear from evening to morning colors and during periods of reduced visibility. In addition, light colored clothing and other reflective gear is strongly encouraged.”

While the base is up to par with North Carolina Department of Transportation standards, improvements such as additional crosswalks and signage are being put into place.

There are many safety tips for pedestrians and there are several resources online including Getstreetsmarts.org, which urges pedestrians to use caution, even when using marked crosswalks.