Letter: Pedestrian safety police focus in November

Safety on Alberta roads is always our top priority. We all have a stake in our efforts to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads. Government, law enforcement and the many traffic safety partners are working together to find solutions. Drivers also need to realize the importance of the role they play too.

For drivers:

· When approaching an intersection or crosswalk, be alert for pedestrians.

·Watch for vehicles stopped or slowing in the next lane. They may be yielding to a pedestrian.

·Stay alert and slow down on residential streets and through school and playground zones.

·Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk carries a fine of $575 plus 4 demerit points.
For pedestrians:

·POINT, PAUSE, and PROCEED. Be alert at intersections and always look for danger when crossing the street.

·Make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street.

·Be seen! Wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing, especially when walking in low light or poor weather conditions.

·If you are impaired, seek assistance and alternative transportation.

·Abide by traffic signs and signals. They are in place to protect your safety.

Both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for safety. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, but pedestrians also have the responsibility to cross safely. From 2009 to 2013, on average each year in Alberta, more than 40 pedestrians were killed and almost 1,160 were injured.

Facts to Know:

·Don’t assume drivers see you and will stop. Always be cautious and watch for vehicles that are not stopping.

·Be visible. More pedestrian collisions occur during months of low light conditions. Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight!

·Pay attention! Remove headphones and put away cellphones or other electronic devices when crossing the street.

·Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk off the road, facing traffic, staying as far away from the vehicles as possible.

· Alcohol is often a factor in serious pedestrian collisions. On average, 42 per cent of pedestrians in fatal crashes and 12 per cent in injury crashes had consumed alcohol prior to the collision.

submitted by Cpl. B.D. Tarzwell

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