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Be alert when driving in residential areas

When driving on Wright-Patterson AFB, it is important all drivers remember to adhere to the posted speed limit signs, especially in the residential areas. (Air Force photo/Wes Farnsworth)

When driving on Wright-Patterson AFB, it is important all drivers remember to adhere to the posted speed limit signs, especially in the residential areas. (Air Force photo/Wes Farnsworth)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO - In residential areas, both speeding and children playing in the street have increasingly become a concern for those on Wright-Patterson AFB.  Getting to a destination quickly is important, but we must not forget safety comes first when it comes to driving. It is everyone’s responsibility to look out for our Airmen and their families.  When driving on base it is important all drivers remember to adhere to the posted speed limit signs, especially in the residential areas.

Drivers must offset the potential for tragedy by exercising extreme caution at all times.  Certain precautions have been put in place, with signage stating that particular roads are for “Guest and Residents Only” meaning no through traffic.  Also be aware, the speed limit in residential areas is 15 miles per hour.  

Defensive driving is encouraged at all times to prevent accidents, and that includes keeping high situational awareness.  Don’t tailgate slower vehicles and be polite towards bicycles and scooters.  Keep a safe following distance until you can clearly pass them with a passing distance of greater than three feet.  Be extra careful when driving at night or during bad weather.  Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.  Safety is a shared responsibility by both pedestrians and drivers.

Parents are also encouraged to use sound risk management by ensuring that children don’t play in the street.  Talk to your kids about the dangers of traffic by teaching your child the boundaries in which they can play and enforce those rules.  If you do not have appropriate spacing from the road, parents should direct their children to play in a safe and appropriate environment such as a parks, recreation areas, or youth center.  According to the NHTSA, “nearly one-fifth (19%) of children 14 and younger killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.”

Drivers, be on the lookout for children who may unexpectedly dart into the street.  Young children often cannot judge the speed, distance, and size of oncoming vehicles, making this a critical factor in child accidents.  Children are very active and impulsive and although they’re learning and growing, school-age children 10 and younger still need guidance and supervision when playing and walking near traffic.  Parents must offset the potential for tragedy by actively monitoring their children’s outdoor activities at all times.

Young children should always have a responsible adult outside with them to supervise safe outdoor play.  Remember it is every one’s responsibility to ensure child safety, and to provide a safe environment for pedestrians.