by Morinville News Staff
The Government of Alberta is encouraging motorists to let pedestrians know they have been seen as a means to make crossing the road safer.
Alberta Transportation has released a series of media with their Let Pedestrians Know It’s Safe To Go campaign, advocating that “It’s Safer To Walk When Eyes Lock.”
In Alberta, there were an average of 45 pedestrians killed, and 1,181 injured each year between 2012 and 2016.
In 2016, the most recent year for government statistics, 95.4 per cent of vehicle-pedestrian collisions occurred in urban areas in 2016. In that same year, almost half (49.8 per cent) of drivers involved in pedestrian casualty collisions failed to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
The casualty rates per 10,000 population were highest for pedestrians aged 15 to 19; however, 84 per cent of pedestrians killed were 20 and older.
“Ensuring safe pedestrian crossing can be easy. Drivers need to stop and wait for pedestrians and pedestrians can increase their safety by only crossing at crosswalks and intersections,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation, in an Oct. 2 release. “Everyone needs to work together to increase safety and avoid tragedy.”
Alberta Transportation advises motorists to be alert for pedestrians when approaching an intersection and to watch for vehicles stopped or slowing in the next lane as they may be yielding to a pedestrian. They also advise staying particularly alert and slow down on residential streets, and through school and playground zones.
Pedestrians are asked to be alert at intersections and make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street.
Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk carries a fine of $776 plus four demerit points.
The most common time for vehicle-pedestrian collisions is between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. In 2016, more incidents occur on Fridays than any other day.