Commander's Corner: Pedestrian Safety
January 15, 2009
Recently, we tragically lost one of our Yongsan community members to a pedestrian/vehicle accident off post. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family.
Pedestrian safety should be a priority. In the United States, we have a tradition, and in most cases laws, which protect pedestrians with the "right of way."
In Seoul, the fifth largest city in the world, traffic is often a challenge. Here, drivers do not always share the same concepts as you might expect.
For example, as in many large cities, it's not uncommon to see motorcyclists weaving in and out of traffic, using sidewalks and even crosswalks. Red lights do not always stop drivers, or cause them to yield to pedestrians. Buses, taxis and other drivers in a hurry may not stop for traffic lights, or pedestrians.
What I'm saying is, as a pedestrian, you have a responsibility on or off post to constantly be aware of your surroundings.
Use designated crosswalks and observe the traffic signals, but please, don't count on a traffic light to save your life. Use your eyes and ears and double, even triple check for traffic before taking one step into a roadway. Additionally, for added visibility wear light-colored clothing at night.
Each life is valuable. I have the utmost concern for your personal safety. I implore you to not become a statistic.
Be safe, be alert and always, always be aware of your surroundings. Hooah!