Safety Tips

Ballwin Police Safety Tips

Family Disaster Plan

Having a plan can help your family make it through any disaster with minimal stress. A comprehensive family disaster plan includes information about each family member, household pets, insurance and finances, the home itself and its contents. Most important, the plan outlines what each family member should do during an emergency and identifies safe places inside and outside the home.

University of Missouri Extension has created a disaster plan template to guide families through the development process. Creating a plan begins with a family meeting to discuss and decide how the family will respond to a disaster. Use this template to guide the process. Here is the link: http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=EMW1011


Avoiding Deer / Car Collisions

The increase in the deer population has lead to a continuing increase in deer-car collisions. This trend will only increase as the deer population grows and urban habitats continue to encroach upon rural environments.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are about 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year that result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, about 150 human fatalities, and over 10,000 personal injuries. The actual numbers are probably higher because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's figures for deer accidents, rely on inconsistent state reporting- there is no standard reporting of deer accidents in the country yet, and a "reportable deer accident" varies significantly between states.

The average cost per insurance claim for collision damage is $2,800, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage. When you factor in auto claims involving bodily injury, the average rises to $10,000.
Defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer.

  • Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
  • Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland. Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.
  • When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
  • Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
  • Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car/deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.

If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.  Deer/auto collision reporting is needed to adequately account for these incidents and address management options if any.

Contact your insurance agent or company representative to report any damage to your car. Collision with an animal is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy.


Right-of-way in Crosswalks
As more and more drivers decide to park their car and become a pedestrian, a reminder concerning crosswalks is in order.
The Ballwin ordinance, which is in compliance with the Missouri State statute, reads as follows:

Sec. 15-387. Right-of-way in crosswalk.

(a) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a cross walk, when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. 
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
(c) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

As drivers, we need to be aware of pedestrians, especially children. We become engrossed in such things as what we may be having for dinner, what kind of day we had at work, talking on a cell phone, but as we approach a crosswalk, we need to slow down and safely stop to let a pedestrian cross. The law reads a pedestrian must be within the crosswalk and then they have the right-of-way, but as parents, we teach our children to stay on top of the curb until there is no traffic and then cross the street.

So the next time you are approaching a crosswalk or an intersection and someone is waiting to cross, try to be courteous and stop to safely allow the pedestrian to cross.

If you should need someone to talk to your group concerning crosswalks, please call (636) 227-9636 to make arrangements.


Safety Tips

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY:

  • When walking on a street without a sidewalk always walk facing oncoming traffic.

  • Ballwin ordinance 15-392 requires pedestrians to use a sidewalk when one is provided.

  • Cross streets only at marked crosswalks or at intersections if no crosswalks are marked.

  • Ballwin ordinance 15-5 prohibits any person riding on or using roller skates, skateboards, coaster or any wheeled toy from doing so on any street.

BICYCLE SAFETY:

  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

  • Always check your bicycle for properly operating equipment before riding.

  • Bicyclists under age 16 may ride their bicycles on the sidewalk, but must yield to pedestrians. Bicyclists 16 and over must ride in the street obeying all traffic laws.

  • Ballwin ordinance 15-442 requires all bicyclists to obey all traffic laws when riding on any street.

  • Always ride defensively and watch out for motor vehicles and other hazards.

SUMMER SAFETY:

With the hot temperatures it is important to not leave children and pets unattended in vehicles. The two ordinances which clarify this are:

Sec. 15-368. Leaving children in vehicles.
No person shall leave any child in a standing, parked, or locked motor vehicle. The police department of the city or any officer or agent thereof is authorized to use whatever force may be necessary to remove the child from the vehicle in order to protect the health, welfare, and safety of such child.

Sec. 15-369. Leaving animals in vehicles.
No person shall leave any animal in any standing, parked or locked motor vehicle. The police department of the city or any officer or agent thereof is authorized to use whatever force is reasonably necessary to remove the animal from the vehicle whenever it reasonably appears that such animal's health, welfare or safety is substantially endangered.