At recent Perry City Council meetings, concern was expressed about people walking, jogging, biking and skateboarding on city streets, especially when it’s dark.

Police Chief Dan Brickner says there are some general safety tips to remember when traveling by foot or on something other than a motor vehicle.

“Don’t walk in the street when there’s a sidewalk available” says Brickner.  “Even if there’s not a sidewalk it might be best to be out of the street because obviously when you’re in the street you’re much more vulnerable to collision with a vehicle.”

Secondly, Brickner says visibility is key.

“Any time of day but particularly in low light wear reflective clothing so that people in cars and on bicycles can see pedestrians.  If you’re on a bicycle you need to have the bike properly lighted, so that you’re visible.”

And just like if you’re driving a car… there is a right and wrong side of the road.

“If you’re walking in the street, which again we don’t recommend, you have to walk towards traffic so you can see oncoming traffic.  If you’re on a bicycle you need to ride with traffic.”

Chief Brickner says it had been years since there was a vehicle versus pedestrian accident in Perry, but recent events should serve as a safety reminder to all.

“We had at least two car/pedestrian accidents in the last month and a half.  One of them of course was fatal, happened in a crosswalk, happened in low light conditions. The other one was also in a crosswalk so it requires everyone, drivers in cars, bicyclists and pedestrians all be very attentive to their surroundings.”

Every year more than 5,000 pedestrians die in the U.S. from being hit by motor vehicles or bicycles.  It’s important for everyone to learn to share the road appropriately and stay alert.

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