REPOST: Common Sense Safety – Cloaked Joggers & Eye Contact

REPOST – Our community has lost a beloved teacher who was struck in the dark while she was jogging. Reports are the driver never saw her until impact. Please be careful when on foot, bicycle or other slow vehicle in a public roadway. Please.

Additional comments – 3 & 4 wheel Recumbent Bicycles pedaled at full tilt on sidewalks are not only a huge hazard to other sidewalk users, but playing with their lives when they cross streets at full tilt, launching from the sidewalk onto the streets and back up the wheelchair ramps.  Insane death wish by bicycle.

Mopeds riders need to be sensible that on higher speed roads they are dangerously slow and being maxed out they have no acceleration left to power out of danger.  I’ve watched several Moped Riders narrowly miss becoming organ donors.  Again safety first!

 

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Ok, this post is almost 100% Amateur Radio free, but the thought process needed to be a safe person on the streets comes into play for everyone, and for Radio Amateurs specially when weather spotting or participating in Emcomm operations.

The old saying is “See and Be Seen” for road safety.

Tuesday morning around 5:40 am local (CDT) I observed several of my neighbors ignoring this common sense adage.

Tuesday morning not only was it dark, but it was foggy with even the street lights partially cloaked.

Night Driving has it Dangers

Yet at least six of the people who live between my house and work seemed to be ignoring that they were invisible in the dark & fog.

First the male solo jogger without a stitch of anything reflective, carefully suited in grey sweats so he could blend in perfectly into the fog. This guy thought he could run in front of my truck as I was clearing an intersection. He had establish no eye contact with me, was running out from behind concealment (bushes) and was nearly invisible dressed in gray.

I of course saw him before he apparently saw me and pulled out of his way. Which lead to clown number two – a biker sans lights biking on the sidewalk the opposite direction of the runner.

This crazed biker also must have not seen my truck, though he cleared me, but nearly rode into the jogger.

Knowing that there was “madness in the air” the rest of the drive I paid particular attention for hazards.

Not more than two blocks away I came up behind two walkers, walking in the street in dark clothes, facing away from traffic, with no lights or reflective stripes.

Lest I think that these were a unique group of careless walkers, another pair were walking towards me, but on the other side of the road, so traffic would come up behind them. They two were in dark gear and seemed to lack anything reflective except some side stripes on the soles of their shoes.

See and Be Seen. Is it so hard?

Coming around to Amateur Radio it really strikes me that when we go out to do Skywarn or participate in an Emcomm activity, that visual safety is not stressed.

We’re looking during Skywarn, but at the weather. And in Emcomm we might be pretty focused on assessments and communication.

Loosing track of if we are visible to traffic could be fatal.

Simple measures we can take are to make sure we are well lighted and have reflective markings where possible.

Deployable gear can be marked with reflective tape.

A roll of 3M Corporation’s Reflective Safety Tape

Though it is the tradition to have cables in black, perhaps go-kit cables should be taped periodically along their length with reflective tape, or purchased with safety yellow or orange jacketing where possible.

And we must never forget that when we move in proximity to other vehicles, equipment or people, if you don’t have eye or other contact, you are at risk of not being seen.

First Posting of this article in October 2007 Common Sense Safety – Cloaked Joggers & Eye Contact 

73

Steve
K9ZW

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One thought on “REPOST: Common Sense Safety – Cloaked Joggers & Eye Contact

  1. Paul Coats, AE5JU says:

    Steve, how right you are. My own company, and many others in our field, issue coveralls for work. The ones we have now have reflective stripes of the material you show, just like that on firemen’s jackets, on the shoulders, around the forearms, and arond the legs.

    When I first saw this I thought, “What a waste of material and it looks silly. The safety guys have really gone overboard this time.”

    A few weeks later I was on a customer’s location, very early, about 3 am, and caught some stripes in my headlights. I saw the two men’s wallking stripes long before I saw them. Just like the “silly” reflectors they began putting on bikes some years ago, they DO work, and work well.

    A jogger or walker could easily don one of those very lightweight mesh vests with the reflective safety stripes. This is just too cheap and too easy to ignore.

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