Safer traffic leads to safer Warrior Country
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea -- Area I officials are using the recent laying of a new crosswalk pattern in downtown Camp Casey as a chance to remind Warrior Country pedestrians and motorists that traffic safety rules are an important part of community life and need to be adhered to.
For pedestrians, that means being sure to cross roads only at white-lined crosswalks and to heed any other traffic signals, except when directed otherwise by law enforcement personnel.
For motorists, it means remembering to yield to pedestrians who are in roadways and exercising acute vigilance when driving in and near the Casey Elementary School, where children go to and from school, youth programs and child care facilities.
Work crews at Camp Casey recently laid down in a new position the crosswalk that connects the post bus terminal and Gateway Club, and installed barriers at a point nearby to channel pedestrians in the direction of that crosswalk.
That part of post is one of the most heavily traveled, and serves as a transit hub for pedestrians and vehicles operating in the area of the post's main gate, its busy bus terminal, the Army Lodge, the Provost Marshall Office, the heavily patronized Gateway Club, the large and busy Commissary-Exchange complex, the recently renovated West Casey Chapel, as well as the school and nearby Child Development Center and Child, Youth and School Services facilities.
The new crosswalk pattern makes for a shorter crossing of the street and makes it easier for motorists to see any pedestrians who may have entered the roadway, said Maj. Cary Gates, operations officer with the 2nd Infantry Division and Area I Provost Marshal Office.
"It's a shorter crosswalk, there's more visibility," Gates said.
"We definitely want them to utilize the crosswalks for their safety, of course," said Gates. "And we want to let the drivers know that when there's an individual in the crosswalk, they're required to stop and give them the right of way. Pedestrians have the right of way."
Motorists are reminded that pedestrian traffic in the area of the school increases from 7:30 -- 7:45 a.m. and 2:45 -- 3 p.m., when children are arriving and departing school.
But the safety concerns aren't limited to the downtown area, he said.
Also of concern are the post's many bus stops, where passengers may be getting on or off a bus.
"Any place there's a bus stop, they're required to stop," Gates said of drovers. "When the bus comes up there it'll turn on its flashers to let oncoming traffic know that, 'Hey, I'm either dropping somebody off or I'm picking somebody up.'
"So if they run through there they could definitely run over a pedestrian," Gates said of heedless motorists.
In addition, the vicinity of dining facilities and clubs are also potentially hazardous because of the big number of pedestrians moving in and out of those places, as is the post medical clinic, which sees much pedestrian traffic during clinic hours.
"So the hospital is another high-traffic area, so that's another area of interest" to Warrior Country officials, Gates said.
Authorities intend to enforce the rules, which are set forth in U.S. Forces Korea Regulation 190-1, Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, Gates said.
That enforcement will apply to pedestrians who fail to use crosswalks and motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians, he said.
Motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks face a penalty of four points on their driving record. Those who exceed 12 points in a year or 18 in two years face temporary suspension of their driving privileges, at the discretion of the garrison commander.
And pedestrians who fail to use crosswalks or otherwise jaywalk will be issued a summons and their offense referred to their unit leadership for adjudication.
"Our recent rearranging of the crosswalk in the very heart of Camp Casey's downtown is a chance to remind everyone that safety is of paramount importance to us in Warrior Country," said Lt. Col. Steven G. Finley, Commander, U.S. Army Garrison Casey.
"All crosswalks are there for pedestrian safety, and all pedestrians are required to use them," he said. "All motorists must obey all traffic signals and yield to pedestrians. And all of us must be watchful for the safety of our youngsters, especially at peak traffic times at and near the Casey Elementary School. Each of us," said Finley, "has a role to play in maintaining a safe and law-abiding community."