In the first few weeks after the clocks fall back in Autumn, pedestrians are more than three times as likely to be fatally struck by cars. As we get ready to set the clocks back an hour November 1st, the Coquitlam Mounties, local government, ICBC and volunteers are gearing up to help keep pedestrian safe by participating in an education safety campaign November 2nd in Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam. The media are invited to attend.
“We are handing out the reflectors and safety information cards as part of a campaign to keep pedestrian safe. The reflectors make pedestrians more visible to drivers in the dark by reflecting vehicle headlights and the cards are great for reminding pedestrians about safety issues, like not crossing mid-block and the importance of making eye contact with drivers before crossing a street,” said Sergeant Terry MacDonald of Coquitlam Traffic Services. “Pedestrians are vulnerable road users because in a collision with vehicles, they are no match to 3,000 pounds of steel. This is why the police will focus their enforcement on unsafe behaviours that put pedestrians at risk in November.”
In B.C., 18% of or nearly one in five people killed in car crashes are pedestrians, and in the Lower Mainland, on average, 33 pedestrians are killed and 1,700 injured in crashes every year with 75 per cent of crashes involving pedestrians occur at intersections.*
“Crashes with pedestrians spike dramatically in fall and winter as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease,” said Kathleen Nadalin, local road safety coordinator. “When you’re walking, make eye contact, wear bright and reflective clothing, and stay focused on the road. When you’re driving, take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning, avoid distractions and be ready to yield.”
Safety tips for drivers:
Focus on the road. Always leave your phone or any other hand-held electronic device alone while you’re driving.
Be ready to yield to pedestrians – especially when turning in intersections and near transit stops.
Look twice for pedestrians before turning especially in fall and winter when visibility is poor.
Give yourself extra time and space to stop in case a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street.
Safety tips for pedestrians:
Make eye contact with drivers as it’s hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor in fall and winter. Never assume that a driver has seen you.
Focus your full attention on the road and traffic around you as drivers may not stop or obey traffic signals.
Remove your headphones and leave your phone alone while crossing the road.
Wear bright and reflective clothing or gear to make it easier for drivers to see you especially in wet weather, at dusk and at night.
Before you start to cross, look left and right for oncoming vehicles and make sure vehicles in all lanes are fully stopped. Then look left and right again for vehicles while you’re crossing.
Be careful at intersections. Watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic instead of also scanning for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Always cross at designated crosswalks, not mid-block. Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals and don’t cross on a yellow or red light.
Safety tips for transit users:
Make sure that you’re visible when you’re walking to and from your transit stop. Wear bright and reflective clothing or gear so drivers can see you in all weather conditions.
Be cautious at transit stops. Avoid running for the bus and taking shortcuts. Always cross at designated crosswalks, not mid-block.