With the beginning of school year, fall season and the increase in school children, buses, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, the Newport Police Department is out today with a press release and the following information wishing to remind motorists and bicyclists to drive safely, as well as pedestrians to be vigilant and use the best safety practices.

For the past sixty days, The Newport Police Department says they have conducted an educational safety campaign to combat motorist failing to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks on Memorial Blvd in Newport. This has resulted in 87 motor vehicles stopped and issued citations for failing to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, RI General Law 31-18-3.

These enforcement efforts have been conducted utilizing federal, state, and local grant funds. The educational safety campaign will continue towards crosswalk violations, speeding, school bus stop arm, distracted driving as well as bicycle violations in other locations in the city as well as continuing on Memorial Blvd. All are encouraged to abide by traffic safety laws and the following listed tips to help ensure a safe school year and fall season! 

9 Driving Safety Tips (N.H.T.S.A) 

1. Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.

2. Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.

3. Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.

4. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the cross-walk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.

5. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.

6. Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

7. Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street. 

8. Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.

9. Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path. 

10 Walking Safety Tips (N.H.S.T.A) 

Utilize the original “NEWPORT WAVES” practice of “STOP, LOOK, WAVE” at every crossing for safety. http://riwaves.org/ 

1. Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.

2. Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.

3. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.

4. Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.

5. Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.

6. 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.

7. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.

8. Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.

9. Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.

10. Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment. 

Rules of the Road for Riding Bicycles Safely (N.H.S.T.A) 

1. Ride in a straight line, single file.

2. Go with the traffic flow.

3. Ride on the right in the same direction as cars. Obey all traffic signs and signals.

4. Ride with both hands on the handlebars except when signaling a turn or stop.

5. Stop and look left-right-left for traffic before entering a street.

6. Walk your bike across an intersection.

7. Stay alert – use your eyes to look for things that could make you fall, like potholes, cracks, pebbles, or wet leaves.

8. Stay alert – use your ears to listen for traffic.

9. Don’t wear earphones while riding.

10. Watch for parked cars and cars pulling out or into parking spaces or driveways.

11. Check your equipment. Make sure your bike tires are properly inflated and that the brakes work.

12. Don’t forget your bicycle helmet. 13. Wear it flat on your head and buckled!