The following safety tips come from BC’s RCMP, and are printed on a reader’s request for this information. This reader observed there are still many pedestrians wearing dark colours, and nothing bright or reflective. I have personally witnessed a youth on a skateboard wearing all dark colours, riding down the middle of the road at night. These are avoidable tragedies waiting to happen. -Britt/SPN
Both pedestrians and drivers have a responsibility to ensure that both parties remain safe in their travels. Below are some tips that all pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, and vehicles should practice.
- Walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk so you are further away from traffic.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles.
- Cross only at intersections or marked crosswalks, never jay walk.
- Dress to be seen especially at night and on dark/overcast days.
- Make sure you can hear and see oncoming cars. Remove your headphones and your hood when crossing the street.
- Make eye contact with drivers. Keep your head up & look where you’re walking. Never assume that drivers see you.
- Always look for signs that a vehicle is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheels turning).
- Vehicles should have their lights on to increase visibility, regardless of the time of day
- When approaching an intersection always scan right and left for pedestrians before continuing through.
- When operating a vehicle, be cautious of pedestrians who may be distracted or unaware of their surroundings (texting, on the phone, headphones in, umbrella or hood blocking their vision).
- Obey the speed limit – not to avoid tickets but to avoid tragedy
CBC’s top five tips for parents to teach pedestrian safety to their children:
- Make it fun – Instead of lecturing to your kids, try to make it fun while still treating it as a serious issue.
- Be a role model – Parents are the number one role model for any young child so make sure you are setting a good example.
- Focus on the basics – Kids will digest information about serious issues when it’s simple for them to understand.
- Mark out safe areas – Focus on teaching your kids where to position themselves when they are around roads to ensure they are in as safe a position as possible.
- Park It – Parking lots or any areas where cars commonly park require special attention. Remind your kids that vehicles can back up quickly or move without warning.
In the dark, wearing a retroreflector will reduce a pedestrian’s risk of being hit by a car by 85 percent.
A retroreflector will make you visible to the driver at a distance of 140 metres, with low-beams, or even at 400 metres, if the car has its high-beams on.
Without a retroreflector, you will be visible only at a distance of 25-30 metres, which equals about two seconds when the car’s speed is 50 km/h (31 mph). Subtract a second of reaction time, and you understand that’s not a lot of time for the driver to brake.
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