At some point in the day, everyone is a pedestrian. Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones when walking, and learn how you can help prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths.
Children & Adult Safety Tips
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Keep alert at all times; don't be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots. Look left, right, and left again before walking.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
- Be prepared for varying weather conditions.
- Be a good example for children.
Children vs. Adults
While adults have the mental and physical ability to see and react to possibly dangerous situations, children are not as capable of doing so. Young children don't yet have the skills needed to cross a street safely. This is especially true of kids younger than 10 years old.
Keep in mind that young children:
- Are impulsive. They often run out into the street unexpectedly, perhaps chasing a ball.
- Have limited attention spans and can be easily distracted. And they may have trouble putting together all of the pieces involved with crossing the street safely.
- Are shorter than adults. Most are under 4 feet tall. So they may find it hard to see above or around obstacles such as parked cars or bushes. Also, drivers may find it hard to see them.
- Have limited side (peripheral) vision. This means a child looking straight ahead may have trouble seeing movement to the side. So, a child must be taught to turn his or her head when looking for traffic.
- Have trouble locating sounds. A child may not be able to tell what direction a car is coming from.
- Have limited perception of speed and distance. A child may not be able to tell how fast a car is going, or how far away a car is.
- May not realize that just because they see a driver does not mean the driver can see them.
- May not understand the danger of traffic. Children may not grasp the idea that a vehicle could hurt or kill them.
Everyone benefits from walking. These benefits include improved fitness, cleaner air, reduced risks of certain health problems, and a greater sense of community. But walking needs to be safe and easy. Take a walk with your child and use the Walkability Checklist (PDF) to decide if your neighborhood is a friendly place to walk. Take heart if you find problems, there are ways you can make things better.
Using Public Transportation
B-Line (Butte Regional Transit) (PDF) is Butte County's regional public transit system. You can use B-Line to travel locally in Chico, Oroville and Paradise, or to travel between communities throughout Butte County.