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Pedestrians should use caution during darker hours

By Staff | Oct 28, 2016

Carissa Mavec/PCT ‘School Crossing’ sign posted above a crosswalk near Ely Elementary

With winter months quickly approaching, so does the end of Daylight Saving Time. Clocks will get turned back one hour on Sunday, Nov. 6. This means the mornings will be lighter and the evenings will be darker.

It is important to practice important safety precautions concerning walking and/or riding bikes during the evening hours.

It is common for regular walkers and bike riders to exercise their habits in these later hours, after work and other responsibilities have been taken care of. In this case, it is recommended by Rugby Police Chief John Rose that pedestrians and bike riders wear reflective clothing and stick to well-lit areas, sidewalks and the designated walking paths.

“The days are getting shorter,” Rose said. “It’s getting dark now at 6, 7 o’clock. With the changing seasons, there is changing visibility. It’s important for pedestrians to remember to wear anything that is light, bright and reflective.”

Rugby does have a walking path that Rose suggested all exercising pedestrians use instead of walking along poorly lit roads that may have a lot of vehicle traffic in the after-work hours. “There was some confusion with the construction of the road near the walking path, cars were driving on the path instead of on the road. They are now painting the lines on the road, so there will be more indication of where you should and shouldn’t be, which should eliminate that confusion and allow for people to walk on that path again,” Rose said.

Pedestrians are encouraged to find clothing that either has reflective emblems or is bright in nature. Rose said that, in addition, walkers should always remember to use the sidewalks, cross only at intersections, and walk against the flow of traffic.

Bike riders should follow the rules of the road, stay with the flow of traffic and make themselves visible.

As for drivers, Rose said to stay alert. “Just because it’s dark, doesn’t mean that it’s late,” he said. “People are still out enjoying the last few nice weather days we have.”

Drivers should also keep alert during the morning hours, which Rose said is another important issue. “Be aware of visibility levels [in the morning], too, especially around the schools. Drivers should consider the position of the sun, as it really is a factor when it comes to driver visibility. As kids are walking and biking to school in the morning, look out for that,” he said.

The Rugby Police Department will be helping with this issue by continuing to enforce the rules of the road, according to Rose. “We’ll keep the speeds down in areas with both pedestrian and vehicle traffic and stay on top of enforcing the rules,” he said.

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