Safer Streets Campaign

Are You Willing to Take the Pledge for Safer Streets?

The Daniel Island Neighborhood Association has kicked off it’s 3-month social media campaign aimed at increasing safety awareness on Daniel Island. Every Wednesday – DINA will share on their Facebook page (Daniel Island Neighborhood Association) – where they’ll zero in on one safety tip for that week and encourage you to comment, like, and share it so, together, we can spread the word and make our community safer.

The POA will also take the weekly posts and add them here for those who do not have Facebook.

Week of August 7th:

In Charleston, drivers have an implied duty to protect pedestrians from harm. For example, speed limit laws require not only that drivers obey the speed limit in pedestrian-heavy areas, but that they also proceed at a speed that is “reasonable and prudent under the conditions,” and to “control their speed to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.”

Also, because many pedestrian accidents occur at intersections, South Carolina law requires drivers to approach intersections at an appropriate reduced speed, to activate their turn signals at least 100 yards in advance of an intersection, and always to be on the lookout for pedestrians.

In fact, according to Section 56-5-3230 of South Carolina Pedestrian Law: “Notwithstanding other provisions of any local ordinance, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.”

Stated in South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 56, Chapter 5, pedestrians have just as much responsibility in preventing accidents as drivers do.

Pedestrians must…

  • Obey traffic control devices and traffic regulations (Section 56 5 3110)
  • Only cross in a designated crosswalk (Section 56 5 3120)
  • Stay in a place of safety when a vehicle is close enough to cause a hazard (Section 56 5 3130)
  • Use the right half of the crosswalk (Section 56 5 3140)
  • Yield to any oncoming vehicles if they are crossing the street outside of a crosswalk (Section 56 5 3150)
  • Never cross a road diagonally, unless otherwise directed to do so by traffic signals and/or road signs (Section 56 5 3150)
  • Never walk on the roadway when a sidewalk is available (Section 56 5 3160)
  • Never walk on a highway, except when necessary, and only then on the shoulder (Section 56 5 3160)
  • Walk only on the left side of the roadway if forced to walk along a highway (Section 56 5 3160)
  • Yield the right of way to all vehicles if walking along a highway (Section 56 5 3160)
  • Yield the right of way to emergency vehicles immediately when it is safe to do so (Section 56 5 3260)

While pedestrians have rules and responsibilities, they also have many rights under the law.

Pedestrian rights include…

  • The right to finish crossing the roadway or to cross the roadway if they are close to approaching the intersection when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation (Section 56 5 3130)
  • The right to protection from all vehicles approaching the intersection, and not just the vehicle at the front of the line at the intersection (Section 56 5 3130)
  • The right to complete safety from vehicles when walking on a sidewalk (Section 56 5 3250)

Finally, it is important to note City of Charleston ordinance regarding bicycles on sidewalks: If you are permitted to ride on a sidewalk, upon encountering a crosswalk, you must dismount and walk your bicycle across. This is actually safer and affords you more rights as you are now considered pedestrian.

Week of July 31st:

The City of Charleston has an online Citizen Services Desk where residents can easily submit a request for assistance with a variety of issues and can follow up on the work flow.

To use the Citizen Services Desk:

  1. Visit www.Charleston-sc.gov
  2. Click “Report a Concern”
  3. Click “Submit a Request Online”
  4. Click the “Customer Log-In” tab. If you have used the services desk before, you will enter your username and password, otherwise you will create an account.
  5. Once you’ve logged in, click the “Submit Request” tab and complete the necessary information.

This is an excellent way to report issues such as abandoned vehicles, animal control, to request a garbage can, to report missed garbage/trash pick-up, tree trimming, missing or damaged street signs, flooding or standing water, illegal parking, sidewalks repair, speeding/traffic complaints, and street light issues.

Week of July 17th:

Life gets hectic, and it can be easy to forget to lock our cars and homes. Carrying in kids and groceries from the car and family coming and going all day, it’s no wonder it sometimes slips our minds.

Unfortunately, thieves have caught on to our busy lifestyle and are taking advantage of it.

To help prevent being the victim of a crime, create a “9PM Routine” for you and your family.

  1. Set your phone alarm for every evening at 9:00 pm.
  2. Have you removed all valuables from your cars?
  3. Are the car windows rolled up and sunroof closed?
  4. Are the car doors locked?
  5. Do you have your car keys?
  6. Are the house doors and windows shut and locked?
  7. Is the home security system activated?
  8. Are the pets inside?

3 things you can do to help the police should you be the victim of a crime:

  1. Register your security camera devices (including smart doorbells) with the Charleston Police Department https://gis.charleston-sc.gov/register-security-cameras/.
  2. Invest in an anti-theft system. (Many insurance companies offer discounts if your vehicle has one!)
  3. If your car has a telematics system (like OnStar) make sure it is activated. These systems use GPS technology to pinpoint your vehicle and transmit that information to law enforcement. Many of these systems can also remotely block your car’s ignition and can work in tandem with police to send a signal to your vehicle that makes it slow down safely.

Week of July 9th:

One thing we all love about living in Charleston is being close to the water, especially during our hot summer months.

To ensure your and your children’s safety, the American Red Cross offers some advice on swimming, whether it be in the ocean, a pool, lake, or river.

  1. Always swim with a buddy. Do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  2. Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well.
  3. Stay within your fitness and swimming capabilities.
  4. Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Always teach children to ask permission to go near water.
  5. Maintain constant supervision.
  6. Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  7. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  8. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  9. Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  10. Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  11. Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  12. If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than 5 minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
  13. In oceans, lakes, and rivers, be sure you are water competent for natural environments before swimming – this is not your home pool!
  14. Always enter unknown or shallow water feet first.
  15. In oceans, lakes, and rivers, watch out for currents, waves, and underwater obstructions.

Finally, parents, we need your help! We ask you please speak with your children about jumping off the public bridge at Captain’s Island Drive and Rhoden Island Drive. We have been getting calls about this, and while not illegal, what is happening is that once you jump in the water, whatever way the current takes you, you must use the dock of a private residence to get out of the water.

Of more concern than the issues of annoyance and trespassing on private property is the safety of children jumping off the bridge and using docks that are not fully constructed or meant to have people climbing up them.

More info HERE.

Week of July 1st:

With the Fourth of July, many of us will head to Smythe Park to enjoy the fireworks display. At the same time, it is important for us to keep in mind and be sensitive to our pets, wildlife, and infant, elderly, and special needs populations who may be sensitive to the noise fireworks create.

Chapter 13, Article VII of the City of Charleston’s Code of Ordinances discusses the possession, sale, and discharge of fireworks.

It is unlawful for any person to use, fire, shoot, discharge, sell, offer for sale, store, exchange, give away, or possess any fireworks within the corporate limits of the city EXCEPT for use in public display or exhibit. Toy cap pistols and toy pistol paper caps that do not contain more than twenty hundredths (.20) of a grain of explosive mixture and fireworks known as “sparklers” are also exempt. The sale, use, and possession of such toy cap pistols, toy pistol paper caps, and sparklers are allowed at all times.

Any person using fireworks for public displays or exhibits must first obtained written approval from the chief fire official for the City of Charleston.

More info HERE.

Week of June 24th:

How Do I Get Speed Humps on My Street?

To begin the process for your street to be considered for speed humps, email the DINA President president@dineighborhoodassociation.org to receive the traffic calming packet. Within that packet, there is a petition and 75% of the residents of the street requesting the speed hump installation must sign the petition. Once the petition is received, the city will conduct the necessary traffic calming studies to see if your street meets the speed and volume requirements to have these traffic calming devices installed.

It is important to note that speed humps are not recommended on curves. The curvature of the road creates an unsafe condition as vehicles traverse the speed hump. Vehicles could potentially be thrown to one side if the speed hump is not visible or approached at an excessive speed. Neither speed humps nor street parking should be installed in a horizontal curve of 300 foot radius or more.

*Any new speed hump request that meets the criteria would be considered in the next fiscal year, as the department has been fulfilling a waiting list of requests including along Iron Bottom Lane.

Week of June 17th:

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts your attention from driving. Activities such as talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, applying makeup, talking to people in your vehicle, and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system. Essentially, distracted driving includes anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

TEXTING IS THE MOST ALARMING DISTRACTION! At 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds to send or read a text is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed!

You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

*Since 2007, drivers age 16-24 have been distracted by devices at higher rates than other drivers.

*Since 2012, female drivers are the most at-risk for fatal crashes involving distracted drivers, but we’re all at risk, and you can make a difference.

* In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Consider these tips for safe driving:
– If you must send or receive a text, pull over to a safe location and park your car first.
– If you have passengers, appoint a “designated texter” to handle all your texting.
– If you can’t resist the temptation to look at your phone, resolve to keep it in the trunk.
– Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.
– Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in your car is distracted.
– Encourage your friends and family to drive phone-free.

Please, we ask all residents to #justdrive!

More info HERE.

Week of June 10th:

With the new roundabout traffic pattern at Daniel Island Drive and Seven Farms Drive, we’d like to review best practices for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians when navigating a roundabout.

For Drivers:
– SLOW DOWN when approaching a roundabout.
– WATCH for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
– WATCH for bicyclists and ALLOW THEM TO MERGE INTO THE ENTRY LANE.
– YIELD to traffic already in the roundabout.
– MERGE into the traffic flow when it is safe.
– DO NOT STOP in the roundabout except to avoid a collision. Continue through the roundabout until you reach your exit.
– Exit the roundabout immediately if an emergency vehicle approaches and then pull over.
– YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS WHEN EXITING THE ROUNDABOUT.

For Bicyclists:
– RIDE LIKE A CAR. If you are comfortable riding in traffic, follow the same rules as vehicles and yield when entering the roundabout.
– WALK LIKE A PEDESTRIAN. If you are uncomfortable riding in traffic, walk your bicycle as a pedestrian on the sidewalk and in the crosswalks.

For Pedestrians:
– ALWAYS USE CROSSWALKS. Cross only at crosswalks and always stay on the designated walkways.
– NEVER CROSS TO THE CENTRAL ISLAND.
– USE PEDESTRIAN REFUGE in the splitter island. It allows you to cross the roundabout one approach at a time and check for approaching traffic.
– BE SAFE. Only cross when drivers see you and stop for you or wait until there is an adequate gap.

https://www.scdot.org/travel/roundabout-navigation.aspx

Week of June 3rd:

Article VIII in the City of Charleston’s Code of Ordinances and Section 56-5-2530 in the South Carolina Code of Laws address vehicle parking. Here are the answers to some of the most common parking questions we receive.

It is unlawful to park…

1. Within 20 feet from the edge of a crosswalk (a crosswalk is typically 10 feet wide, so parking is actually restricted within 30 feet from the intersection in which there is a crosswalk).
2. On a crosswalk.
3. Within 30 feet of the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign, or other traffic-control signal.
4. Within 15 feet on either side of a fire hydrant.
5. Within 3 feet on either side of a public or private driveway and on the side of the street opposite any public or private driveway in such a manner as to inhibit the entry or departure from the driveway.
6. Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of the street opposite any fire station.

Other Points to Note…

1. Parking on Curves
Preventing parking on curves allows for clear line of sight. For everyone’s safety, not parking on curves is encouraged, and often “NO PARKING THIS SIDE OF STREET” will be placed to avoid parking on curves.
2. Distance from Curb
Wherever lines have been painted to indicate parking spaces, vehicles are to be parked entirely within those lines. If there are no lines, vehicles are to be parked within 12 inches from the curb.
3. Road Width when Determining Street Parking
At least 10 feet in width for each direction of traffic must be unobstructed to allow the free movement of traffic. Therefore, single side on-street parking requires a minimum of 27 feet of pavement width for two-way traffic (allowing 7 feet in width for parked cars and 10 feet in width for each direction of traffic).

https://library.municode.com/…/ch…/codes/code_of_ordinances…

https://law.justia.com/…/title…/chapter-5/section-56-5-2530/

Week of May 27th:

2013 South Carolina Code of Laws Title 56, Chapter 2, Section 56-2-105 addresses golf carts. The link at the end takes you to the law in its entirety.

  1. An individual or business owner of a golf cart must have a permit decal and registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To obtain the decal and registration, you must present proof of ownership, liability insurance for the golf cart, and pay a $5.00 fee.
  2. Golf carts may only be operated during daylight hours, within 4 miles of the address on the registration certificate, and on a street with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less.
  3. Any person operating a permitted golf cart must be at least 16 years of age AND hold a valid driver’s license. The operator of a permitted golf cart must have in possession: A) The registration certificate issued by the DMV; B) Proof of liability insurance for the golf cart; and C) driver’s license.
  4. A golf cart permit must be replaced with a new permit every 5 years, or at the time the permit holder changes address.

More info HERE.

Week of May 20th:

Article V, Division 3 of the City of Charleston’s Code of Ordinances addresses regulations pertaining to bicycles. The link below takes you to all of those regulations. Here we highlight those most Daniel Island residents ask about.

  1. Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway has the same rights — and the same duties and responsibilities — as the driver of a vehicle. This means that a bicyclist must obey traffic control signals, signs, and other control devices the same as the driver of a vehicle, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
  2. Riding a bicycle on a sidewalk is prohibited except: A) Children 12 years of age or younger and whose bicycle wheel diameter is 24 inches or less; B) Where the sidewalk is designated by the Traffic & Transportation Department as a shared-use path measuring at least 8 feet in width [we do not have any such sidewalks on Daniel Island]; C) Where the adjacent highway has a posted speed limit of 35 mph or more.
  3. If you are permitted to ride on a sidewalk, upon encountering a crosswalk, you must dismount and walk your bicycle across.
  4. Bicycles shall not be operated in a reckless manner. Any person permitted in the above to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk must — at all times — ride the bicycle with due care and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians using the sidewalk.

More info HERE.