Road Safety: Let’s look out for one another during these darker days
As the days gradually grow shorter and cooler, and the change of seasons takes hold, the City of Vernon is emphasizing the importance of looking out for one another while navigating our roadways.
According to ICBC, nearly half (43%) of crashes involving pedestrians happen between October and January and approximately 78 per cent of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections.
“We’re heading into the time of year when pedestrian safety is a serious concern,” said Anne Huisken, Active Transportation Coordinator. “However, there are many collective actions we can take to ensure the safety of everyone using our roadways during our fall and winter months.”
Tips to getting around safely:
- When walking, cycling, or scootering around town, remember to ‘dress bright at night.’ Light coloured or reflective clothing will increase your visibility.
- Use designated intersections to cross the road.
- When approaching intersections, watch for turning vehicles.
- Make eye contact with drivers before proceeding to cross the road.
- Ensure pets are also visible. Attach a reflector or light to their collar & leash.
- For winter cycling and scootering, dress and ride for the conditions.
- When riding in the dark, as per the Motor Vehicle Act, bikes and scooters require a white headlight (at least 150 m visibility) mounted to the front, and a rear-facing red taillight or red reflector.
- Adjust your speed to the weather conditions.
- Studded winter tires are recommended for the colder months for bicycles.
Drivers: keep your heads up! Distracted driving, failing to yield to the right of way, and not adjusting driving to weather conditions are the three top contributing factors leading to vehicle collisions with pedestrians, according to ICBC.
In low light and dark conditions, drivers must take extra care, especially near bike lanes, crosswalks, intersections, pathways, downtown, transit stops, and in designated school and playground zones.
- When approaching intersections, scan for people walking and riding before moving through.
- Always shoulder-check before turning right.
- Look both ways and be aware that people riding bikes, scooters, and other small wheels can ride in both directions on multi-use pathways and the 30th Street cycle track.
- Give extra road space when passing people walking and riding along roadways.
- Make sure your windshield wipers and headlights are in good working condition.
To help you stay visible, the City of Vernon is providing free reflectors to the community. If you need a reflector, you can pick one up from the City of Vernon’s Community Safety Office located at 3010 31st Avenue.
For more information about road safety, please visit www.vernon.ca/headsup.