Joint Base Andrews


316 WG Safety Office: Think safety when jogging

By | March 23, 2007

ANDREWS AFB, Md. -- Using headphones while on roads and streets on Andrews is not permitted.
Andrews' traffic environment is one of the most dangerous people routinely encounter on a daily basis, as drivers, passengers or pedestrians, according to the 316th Wing Safety Office. 

While there are usually more drivers than pedestrians, the pedestrian is much more vulnerable to injury, according to the safety office. It would be logical for any pedestrians, especially joggers, to keep their senses of sight and hearing at maximum operating efficiency and free of self-imposed destructors, such as headsets, which diminish the sense of hearing. 

Most people use two senses, vision and hearing, to keep themselves out of danger when they are in a heavy traffic environment, according to the safety office. When either of these senses is diminished or lost, the ability to avoid danger is significantly impaired. It would seem reasonable to say that no one would knowingly impair or reduce either of these senses, particularly while in a potentially life-threatening situation. 

Joggers, bicyclists and motorists have perpetuated mishaps because they were wearing headsets listening to music or otherwise, and could not use their sense of hearing to avoid danger. The Department of Defense has published DoD instruction 6055.4, DoD Traffic Safety Program, which states, "The wearing of portable headphones, earphones, or other listening devices while operating a motor vehicle, jogging, walking, bicycling, or skating on roads and streets on DoD installations is prohibited." 

The use of these devices masks or prevents recognition of emergency signals, alarms, announcements, the approach of vehicles, human speech and the ability to determine the direction sound is coming from, according to the safety office. 

Looking at the issue from a positive perspective, it's incumbent upon all of us to ensure the safest possible environment, according to the safety office. Since the wearing of headsets is forbidden, everyone who wishes to continue using them should look for and use alternative locations and environments. 

In particular, joggers, the most vulnerable of pedestrians, should seek jogging areas, which are not influenced or threatened by vehicle traffic. 

The rule of "see and be seen" remains necessary, as does "listen and hear," according to the safety office.