Monday, December 13, 2010
DOT Safety Education News
Stand Out at Night
Winter is here, and we’re approaching the shortest day of the year. It’s already dark as we head home from work, school and holiday shopping. Streets are filled with cars and trucks and sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians.
Late afternoon and early evening hours can be risky times for pedestrians. According to DOT’s New York City Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan, nearly 40 percent of pedestrian injuries and fatalities occur between 3–9pm. What can you do – as a driver, pedestrian and cyclist – to be street-safe on winter afternoons and evenings?
Visibility Behind the Wheel
When the light outside is dim, especially at twilight, visibility is much lower. This is a critical factor for drivers, who may not realize that their vision after dark has worsened.
Be alert and sober while driving. Avoid texting or talking on the phone, as well as driving while fatigued.
Give yourself enough time to come to a safe stop - lower your speed and maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you.
Stick to the speed limit, and aim for below the limit in residential neighborhoods. The limit in NYC is 30 mph unless otherwise posted!
In snow and sleet, remember to clear ice and snow from all your windows, mirrors and lights, as well as from the roof, hood and trunk to avoid pieces of ice flying into other cars. Check your windshield washer fluid to be sure the holder is full, and keep a spare container in the trunk.
Staying Visible as a Pedestrian and Cyclist
Pedestrians and cyclists need to be as conspicuous as possible during cold, dark winter nights.
Before you even begin to cross the street, look both ways and even back over your shoulder for traffic, especially turning vehicles. Let the car go by if you’re not sure the driver has seen you.
If your winter clothing is dark, always wear something white or light, like a scarf, hat or gloves. Retro-reflective clothing and accessories work very well to make you stand out against the traffic background, because they reflect light directly back toward its source and make you visible to drivers at a distance. You can also attach a reflective zipper pull to your jacket or bag or attach a reflective band around your stroller, walker or cane.
If you bike after dark, be sure your bike has a white headlight in front and a red light in the back (New York State law). Increase your visibility by mounting flashing lights on your bike frame and helmet, and use retro-reflective materials to outline both you and your bike.
Winter in New York City is wonderful. Let’s work together – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists – to share our streets safely.
DOT Safety Education Events
Car Seat Inspections
Make sure your car safety seat is installed correctly. A trained car seat technician will check your seat and demonstrate correct installation.
Saturday, January 8
127th Street between Second & Third Avenues
No appointment necessary.
If you cannot attend, call 311 for an appointment for a free child car seat inspection at a DOT Fitting Station. Please note that we cannot accept walk-ins. Find the location nearest you
Bike Helmet Fittings and Giveaways
The Department of Transportation will give away free bike helmets while supplies last. Helmets are available for all ages.
Monday, December 13
Kings of Columbus Hall
333 Beach 90th Street
In partnership with the 100th Precinct Community Council
Wednesday, December 15
2501 Grand Concourse
In partnership with Health Plus
You must be present to get a helmet and you must learn how to properly fit and wear it before you receive it. Adults over 18 receiving a helmet must sign a waiver, and a parent or legal guardian must be present to sign a waiver for children under age 18.