Warm weather safety considerations
March 28, 2008
March 22 was the first day of Spring, so it's safe to say that warmer weather will be with us for a while now. Many of us will no doubt take advantage of the many activities that our community has to offer.
We'll see more joggers and bicycles on our streets, which means we all need to tune up our safety antennae and make sure that we all work together to keep our streets, sidewalks and common areas safe for everyone.
U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan Policy Letter 10-1 spells out community safety rules for joggers, bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, motorcycles and mopeds. Anyone can download this policy letter from the Garrison Web site at http://yongsan.korea.army.mil/sites/about/policies.html.
One important aspect of this policy states that headphones, earphones, and handheld cell phones will not be used when operating motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, or when running or jogging. It's all about keeping you and others safe.
Here are some important highlights of this policy:
All personnel are required to wear the following protective equipment while operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle/moped on USAG-Yongsan Installations: A properly fastened approved helmet that meets Department of Transportation standards; eye protection (clear goggles or a face shield attached to the helmet); full-fingered gloves, long trousers, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and leather boots or over the ankle shoes.
When jogging, bicycling, skateboarding, roller skating, rollerblading or operating a motorcycle or moped, a high-visibility retro-reflective vest (bright colors for day and reflective for night) will be worn. Reflective belts, arm bands or sleevelets may not be used in lieu of reflective vests. If wearing a backpack, the vest must be worn over the backpack.
The safety of joggers or runners is an individual responsibility. Joggers are pedestrians and must observe the same precautions as those who are walking when crossing roads. Traffic signals and stop signs will be obeyed and pedestrian crosswalks will be used when crossing roads. Joggers will avoid the use of the main streets and run in single file to the maximum extent possible. Joggers will use jogging paths or sidewalks where available or run on the far-left side of the road, facing traffic, when jogging paths or sidewalks are not available. Challenging or obstructing vehicular traffic is forbidden. Joggers should yield the right of way to vehicular traffic.
Skateboards and skating
The MWR Skate Park in the Family Fun Park is the only approved and Garrison-sponsored area designated for skateboards and roller-blades. Other authorized areas are parking lots within housing areas; unoccupied open areas, such as basketball courts, unused parking lots, and paved playgrounds; and parking lots after facilities have closed for the day.
Parents, please talk to your children about playing safe. Many accidents and incidents are easily preventable by taking simple precautions. Safety is always one of our most enduring missions.