November is pedestrian safety month

submitted by Cpl. B.D. Tarzwell

Walking is part of a healthy lifestyle and is many Albertans’ primary form of transportation, particularly children and youth. In 2006, almost 40 per cent of the drivers in collisions involving a pedestrian failed to yield the right of way to the pedestrian.

As part of its ongoing traffic safety campaigns, the Morinville RCMP, and all assisting agencies advises pedestrians and motorists to follow these road safety tips:

For Pedestrians

– Obey all traffic signs and signals.

– Always walk on the sidewalk; if there are no sidewalks walk on the side of the road facing traffic.

– Wear bright or light-coloured clothing or reflective strips when walking in dark or low-light conditions.

– Cross safely at corners and crosswalks, preferably at intersections with traffic lights.
Stop at the curb to show drivers you intend to cross the road; hold your arm straight out at right angles to your body pointing across the road as a legal sign to motorists that you wish to cross the road.

– Look left, right and left again before proceeding to cross the road; cross when traffic has come to a complete stop and make eye contact with drivers in each lane that you cross to ensure you are seen. POINT, PAUSE and PROCEED.

– Continue crossing the street if the light changes to ‘don’t walk’ while you are in the crosswalk.

– Watch for traffic turning at intersections or entering and leaving driveways.

For Motorists

– Scan farther down the road and obey posted speed limits. Always be prepared to slow down or stop.

– Avoid loud music and other distractions when driving.

– Use caution when approaching intersections or mid-block crosswalks. Allow pedestrians to cross the road before proceeding. The fine for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or passing a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk is $776 and four demerit points.

– Be cautious in parking lots or when backing out of a parking stall or driveway.

– Slow down around parked or stopped vehicles as they may hide a pedestrian who is crossing the road, particularly children who may dash out into the street.

– Stay alert and slow down on residential streets and through school zones; the speed limit for school and playground zones in urban and rural areas is 30 km/h unless otherwise posted.

– Watch for the school safety patrol wearing orange vests, and stop as directed. School safety patrollers play a vital role in directing children safely across the street.

– RCMP request that all drivers and pedestrians take responsibility for not only their safety but for the safety of everyone who are using our Highways.

For more information about traffic safety, contact the Office of Traffic Safety at 780-422-8839 or visit http://www.saferoads.com/.

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