As winter descends upon us, altering driving conditions and reducing daylight hours, it becomes increasingly vital for drivers to create a secure environment for themselves, passengers, and pedestrians. Pedestrians, lacking protective measures against vehicle collisions, face higher risks of injury. In the absence of safety features and barriers, the paramount defense for pedestrians lies in safe and defensive driving.
Various indicators mark pedestrian crossings, including white lines on the road, flashing yellow lights, walk and stop lights on traffic poles, and signs with walking figures denoting crosswalks. However, at unmarked intersections without indicators, pedestrians retain the right of way.
Vigilantly scanning the road and surroundings is crucial, regardless of the driving environment. Pedestrians may be obscured by obstacles like trees or parked cars, and their visibility can be compromised in low-light conditions. Children, in particular, can be unpredictable. Drivers should adhere to speed limits in school zones, especially during drop-off and pick-up times, and remain attentive to pedestrians.
At intersections, green lights do not guarantee a clear path, as pedestrians with special needs or using assistive devices may still be crossing. In marked crosswalks, drivers must stop if pedestrians are near their half of the road, and at unmarked intersections, pedestrians still have the right of way. Exercise caution when turning, scanning for pedestrians before completing the turn.
Pedestrians should remain alert even when having the right of way. Making eye contact with approaching drivers is crucial. Avoid distractions such as phone use or headphones when crossing, and always use marked crosswalks or intersections. Brightly colored reflective clothing is essential when walking at night, especially on unlit roads.
When walking with children, hold their hands and provide clear instructions on safe crossing.
Collaboration between drivers and pedestrians is essential for road safety. By practicing safe driving and walking habits, we can collectively reduce pedestrian-involved incidents in BC and ensure everyone reaches their destinations safely. For additional information regarding the pedestrian safety, please visit ICBC
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