Use Your WITS is an education campaign created by SGF Yields to help equip under-resourced and unhoused individuals with tools they need to help keep themselves safe when walking on Springfield roadways. The campaign provides easy to remember tips, training videos, and incentive items to help keep them safe, visible and aware.
Crossing wide streets in the middle of a block is very dangerous. Cars travel very fast on major roadways and do not expect people to be in the road. Even when they see someone, they often don’t have enough time to stop.
The safest place to cross a roadway is at a crosswalk, signal or intersection, but however you choose to cross the street, please consider your safety and always use your WITS:
W - WATCH AND BE SEEN.
Once a driver’s lights shine on you, it’s too late for them to stop.
If the view is blocked, move to where you can see and be seen.
Wear bright colors, use a flashlight, wear a reflector, or cross where there is a street light, but don’t assume these alone will keep you safe!
If a driver stops for you, don’t wave them on. Check to make sure no other cars are coming in other lanes and use the opportunity to cross.
I – IDENTIFY THE RISKS.
Look around and think carefully about the risks:
How many lanes does the road have? The more lanes, the faster cars will travel.
Is it dark or rainy? This will further affect their ability to see you and stop in time.
Are there safer places to cross nearby such as an intersection, crosswalk or footbridge?
Are you in a wheelchair, pushing a grocery cart or stroller, or have your hands full of groceries? These items often take more time to travel across the road.
Weigh the risks and make the best choice to protect yourself. Sometimes this means you have to walk out of your way.
T – TAKE THE SAFEST ROUTE ACROSS.
Drivers look for dangers at intersections. That’s where they would expect to see you. It is best to find an intersection or crosswalk where drivers are made aware of you.
Do not walk diagonally across the road.
The center turn lane won’t protect you. Never walk or stop in the middle of the street.
S – STAY ALERT.
Focus on your safety and keep an eye on everything going on around you.
Stop your conversation. Put the phone down. Unplug your headphones.
If you are walking with others, stay together in a close group to increase your visibility.