submitted by Alberta RCMP
Even though the seasons are changing and the weather is becoming colder, there is still a lot of foot-traffic on our provincial roadways. This October, Alberta RCMP plans to focus on pedestrian safety, ensuring both motorists and pedestrians are informed of how to share the road responsibly.
“Individuals travelling on foot are more vulnerable than those operating motor vehicles,” explains Supt. Rick Gardner, Alberta Traffic Sheriffs. “This is why is it so important that all road users understand the importance of keeping our streets and sidewalks safe.”
To promote pedestrian safety, Alberta RCMP encourages road users to always ask themselves the following:
- Do I have the right of way? At both marked and unmarked crosswalks, vehicles must yield to pedestrians.
- Can drivers see me? Making eye contact with drivers ensures they see you. Signalling your intent to cross by extending your arm and pointing in the direction you wish to proceed shows drivers that you intend to enter a crosswalk. (Saferoads Alberta, 2020)
- Am I distracted? Walking with headphones in or while texting can make you less aware of your surroundings and other road users.
- Is it safe to cross? Don’t cross a street in the middle of the block or between parked cars. If there are no crossing lights, wait until all vehicles have come to a complete stop before crossing. (MyHealth.Alberta.ca, 2020)
- Do I have the right of way? If pedestrians are crossing a roadway outside of a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield to vehicles.
- Can pedestrians see me? Working headlights are required of all drivers in order to see pedestrians, cyclists, and wildlife on the road.
- Am I distracted? Texting or handling other devices while driving causes you to become less aware of other motorists, upcoming approaches, and pedestrians. Distracted driving is illegal.
- Is it safe to proceed? If you are approaching flashing crosswalk lights, or see a pedestrian signalling to cross, come to a complete stop. Look both ways to ensure pedestrians have cleared the crosswalk before proceeding.
“Last October, there were 12 roadway incidents involving pedestrians across Alberta,” says Supt. Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “This fall, the RCMP encourages motorists and pedestrians alike to become familiar with traffic safety rules and put them into play whenever you are out and about. Road safety is the responsibility of every individual, community, and organization.”
For more traffic safety information, please follow us on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.