Taking steps to improve pedestrian safety

A Junior Police Offi cer holds a stop sign to ensure the crosswalk is safe at Hickam Elementary School at JBPHH, Jan. 12, 2012. File photo by Tech Sgt. Michael Holzworth

Anna General
Managing Editor, Ho’okele
Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

Three pedestrian incidents involving military members and civilians occurred at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) within a month.

“This week, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam experienced its third pedestrian incident in the last 30 days involving personnel being struck by a moving vehicle,” said Capt. Stanley Keeve, commander, JBPHH.

“The Joint Base community is very lucky that there were no deaths involved with these incidents. However, recent hit-by-vehicle incidents have left civilian and military members with broken legs, punctured lungs and other internal injuries.”

On May 8 at 5:04 a.m., a pedestrian was involved in a traffic incident while crossing the crosswalk on North Road and Nimitz Drive. The pedestrian suffered injuries to the leg and abrasions to the elbow. On May 1 at 10:13 a.m., a bicyclist was involved in a traffic incident while crossing the crosswalk on North Road between the JBPHH Fitness Center and Club Pearl. The pedestrian suffered contusions and abrasion to the left leg. And on April 16 at 5:45 a.m., a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle while in a crosswalk at the intersection of North Road and Battleship Drive. The pedestrian suffered three broken ribs and a bruised kidney.

According to a recent ALNAVACTS message, the common factors of these incidents include excessive speed among drivers, low street lighting conditions, personnel not wearing mandatory reflective gear during the hours of darkness (30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise), and distractions.

Some distractions include talking on cell phones or texting while driving, which is not permitted on JBPHH; and the use of cell phones, headphones, ear pieces or any device that impair the pedestrian’s awareness and recognition of approaching vehicles while crossing or not using crosswalks.

Interior Communications 3rd Class Alea Klepsteen, assigned to JBPHH, said she was in a pedestrian incident.

“It was actually in broad daylight, I was coming off from work and I was crossing the street at a crosswalk over by Bravo Piers and a guy decided he didn’t want to stop and hit me going 25 miles an hour,” Klepsteen said.

In an effort to improve pedestrian/bicycle and driver behavior, the Safety offices at Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH) and JBPHH continue to promote traffic safety throughout the base.

As a way to move forward, the Safety offices are collaborating with commands to have a mandatory safety stand-down to emphasize pedestrian and traffic safety, provide traffic safety videos and remind pedestrians to take ownership of their own personal safety when utilizing crosswalks.

Joint Base is in the final stages of releasing an updated installation traffic and safety instruction. If drivers are found at fault, penalties will include suspension of base driving privileges up to one year. Additionally, base security will increase its patrols near high volume crosswalks and roadways to assist.

Traffic safety tips

Provided by CNRH/JBPHH Safety:
Drivers:

• Drivers need to pay full attention when driving. Do not use cell phones or other hand-held electronics while driving.
• Portable headphones, earphones or other entertainment listening devices shall not be worn while operating vehicle.
• Distractions such as eating, adjusting the radio, applying make-up are dangerous.
•Drivers have a responsibility for other people on the road.

Pedestrians:

• Make eye contact. Be sure drivers see you before crossing the street. Your eyes and ears are the best tools for keeping safe.
• Never assume that a driver sees you and will stop for you. If you never put yourself in front of an oncoming vehicle, you should never get hit.
• Pedestrians must take responsibility for their own safety.
• Wear lightly colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day.

Remember, safety starts with you! Visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety for additional pedestrian safety tips.

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