by Morinville Online Staff
Each month Alberta RCMP focuses on a different aspect of traffic safety for an awareness campaign. October’s focus is on the importance of safety regarding foot traffic on our streets and sidewalks.
There were 224 pedestrian-involved collisions in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions in 2021. Twenty-three of those resulted in fatalities, 49 in major injuries, and 145 with minor injuries. The warmer weather between March and October is when police see the most pedestrian incidents.
“We want to ensure all road users, whether they are travelling by car or on foot, are safe on Alberta’s streets and highways,” explained Insp. Chris Romanchych, Alberta RCMP Traffic, in a media release Wednesday. “Pedestrians are some of our most vulnerable road users. As such, we must take the appropriate measures and precautions to reduce any potential risks to their safety and well-being.”
To minimize risk to pedestrians, RCMP offer the following tips:
- Pedestrians should wear bright reflective clothing.
- Pedestrians should always use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk available, walk off the road against the direction of traffic (Government of Alberta, 2021).
- If you are crossing a roadway outside of a crosswalk, you must yield to vehicles.
- Signal your intent to enter a crosswalk by extending an arm and pointing in the direction you would like to proceed. Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
- Do not cross a street in the middle of a block or between parked cars. If there are no crossing lights, wait until all vehicles have come to a complete stop before crossing (Government of Alberta, 2021).
- Walking with headphones in or while texting can make you less aware of your surroundings. Distracted walking is dangerous.
- At both marked and unmarked crosswalks, vehicles must yield to pedestrians.
- Working headlights are required of all drivers in order to see pedestrians, cyclists, and wildlife on the road.
- Motorists approaching flashing crosswalk lights should slow to 30 km/h and yield to pedestrians signalling to cross. Look both ways to ensure pedestrians have cleared the crosswalk before proceeding.
For more traffic safety information, follow the RCMP on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.