With the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions, local officials are urging area residents to keep their guard up when leaving their homes after weeks of sheltering in place. COURTESY PHOTO

Baltimore— With the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions, local officials are urging area residents to keep their guard up when leaving their homes after weeks of sheltering in place. 

Law enforcement reports that a growing number of drivers are taking advantage of reduced traffic to ignore speed limits and other traffic laws, while ongoing social distancing prompts some pedestrians to step into streets to maintain the recommended six-foot gap from others.

“These are still tumultuous times as millions of people adapt to the new ‘normal’ and take steps to continue to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19,” said Mike Kelly, Executive Director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. “We want everyone to remember that safety applies to driving, walking, and bicycling, too.”

Safety advocates say it’s important for everyone in the region, to be alert and aware of their surroundings, obey traffic laws, and avoid distractions when driving, walking or bicycling. The “Look Alive” traffic safety campaign offers these tips to stay safe on area streets

and highways.

  If you’re driving…

·Obey speed limits, even when tempted to go faster because of fewer cars on the road.

·Always come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs.

·Watch and stop for people crossing the street.

·Avoid using your cell phone, and never text while driving.

·Be alert for people who may occasionally step into the roadway as they

attempt to maintain social distancing.

  If you’re walking…

·Cross at the corner and use crosswalks when available.

·Use caution and double check for

vehicles if you are stepping into the street for any reason.

·If you’re unable to use a sidewalk, keep close to the edge of the road and face traffic if possible so you can see

approaching vehicles.

·Avoid using your cell phone while you’re crossing the street.

·Remain alert to others around you—drivers, bicyclist, and other pedestrians.

  If you’re biking…

·Obey traffic signs and signals.

·Use hand signals to tell drivers what you intend to do.​

·Wear a helmet.

  “Look Alive” is a regional pedestrian and bicycle safety program that combines education and enforcement across the Baltimore metropolitan region, which includes Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County and Queen Anne’s County. Visit LookAliveMD.org for more safety tips and information about the program.