Action Line: Zebra crossings and blocked access
By Col. John T. Quintas, 48th Fighter Wing commander
/ Published December 30, 2011
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
Zebra Crossings - When I first arrived at RAF Lakenheath a little over two years ago, I sat through a driver's trainer class that covered the basics of driving while in the UK. This included the different kind of crosswalks. One of them that was highlighted was the Zebra Crossing. There are many of these on RAFL-including many along the rather busy main road when you first make the left turn after entering through gate 2. For some reason many people feel that it is not necessary to stop at these crossings even though it was taught to us during the driving training to do so. As an adult I know to stop, look, and wait before crossing, but many children do not. Motorists need to be more aware.
Parking on/blocking access to the Jogging trail in Liberty Village - I do not understand why vehicles are parked in many locations throughout LV, blocking the access to the jogging trail. I use this trail multiple times throughout the day and I always see the same cars parked in the same spots, blocking access to the trail. This causes people to have to walk either in the wet grass, or in the street which is unsafe. I was under the impression that this was not okay, yet I still see residents doing it.
I would like to thank you for highlighting this safety concern regarding Zebra crossings. In December of 2009 and January of 2010 a total of three children were struck by vehicles while attempting to cross in pedestrian zones on base.
Fortunately, none of these incidents resulted in serious injury. This is a very important safety concern and at the beginning of the school year, the 48 FW safety office conducts an aggressive information campaign to remind drivers to be aware of children walking to school in the morning and moving about the base during lunchtime. They also conduct a summer information campaign to remind our community that more kids will be outside playing in
base housing during the day.
In accordance with Lakenheath Instruction 31-204, MOTOR VEHICLE/TRAFFIC SUPERVISION, "the driver of a vehicle shall yield to any pedestrian about to enter, entering, or in a marked crosswalk." Drivers caught failing to yield may be issued an Armed Forces Traffic Ticket and assessed 3 points on their 3rd Air Force Driving Permit. This applies to all crosswalks on RAFL. As a result of your Action Line, I have directed the Security Forces to monitor the crosswalks adjacent to Gate 2 more closely. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind all drivers to use extreme caution during this time of year, as the roads may be icy and stopping distance will be increased, as was the case in each of the incidents in 2009 and 2010.
I love to run and walk my dog on our many paths and sidewalks and share your concern about the illegally parked cars. It is a concern all throughout Liberty Village and I have directed the Security Forces to more closely monitor the housing area and cite violators. If you notice a specific vehicle parking illegally, I would ask you to contact the Security Forces Base Defense Operations Center and report it. Thanks again for being an active community member and thinking about safety!
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