Pedestrian safety awareness month is nearly coming to a close, but the message remains the same 365 days of the year.
Coquitlam RCMP and its partners across the Tri-City and Metro Vancouver regions are set to continue to encourage everyone to be seen on roads and sidewalks so they can get home safely as the days continue to get shorter.
Next month, Mounties will be handing out reflectors to residents in certain areas, which are helpful to those walking at night or using transit to get around.
On Wednesday morning (Oct. 20), RCMP and ICBC volunteers were out in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam at transit stations distributing reflectors and sharing its message of "being visible" to others.
According to ICBC, 44 per cent of crashes each year involving pedestrians happen between October and January.
In B.C., 79 per cent of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections.
"Whether it's taking a break from your phone or yielding the right-of-way, we all need to do our part to keep pedestrians safe," ICBC explains.
"Even when drivers proceed with caution, it's hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor."
In September, Coquitlam RCMP handed out 434 traffic violation tickets across its jurisdiction, which included 243 for speeding, 48 for distracted driving and seven for impaired driving.
"We have seen that daily traffic has increased over the past couple months and the Coquitlam RCMP would like to remind drivers to leave a bit earlier, allowing more time to arrive at their destination safely," said Const. Deanna Law in a statement to the Tri-City News on Thursday (Oct. 21).
Here's where reflectors will be handed out in the Tri-Cities as part of the campaign:
Nov. 3, 2021
- Noon to 2 p.m.
- Members will be in "busy" areas of downtown Port Coquitlam, as well as near Douglas College, Pinetree Secondary and Coquitlam Centre Mall
Nov. 9, 2021
- 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Fall Safety: Sidewalk, Road, and Transit Users - Webinar
Nov. 10, 2021
- 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
- During lunch breaks at Centennial Secondary, Gleneagle Secondary and Terry Fox Secondary
Mounties have also provided the following tips to avoid pedestrian collisions:
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Do not assume a driver has seen you.
- Dress to be seen in bright or reflective clothing especially at night and on dark/overcast days.
- Use a crosswalk, a majority of the fatal pedestrian collisions involve jaywalking.
- Walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk so you are further away from traffic.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles.
- Make sure you can hear and see oncoming cars. Remove your headphones and your hood when crossing the street.
- Always look for signs that a vehicle is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheels turning).
- Focus on the road. Always leave your phone alone while driving.
- Be ready to yield to pedestrians, especially when turning at intersections and near transit stops.
- If a vehicle has stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, it may be yielding for a pedestrian.
- Expect the unexpected, even mid-block, as pedestrians may be jaywalking.
- Slow down. Give yourself more time to react to the unexpected, like a pedestrian that suddenly appears in front of you.