Walk smart, drive smart

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden -

This Oc­to­ber, the Al­berta RCMP re­minds all road users that traf­fic safety is a shared re­spon­si­bil­ity be­tween mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans. With Pedes­trian Safety Month well un­der­way, po­lice re­it­er­ate the im­por­tance of shar­ing the road to en­sure your own safety and that of oth­ers.

Pedes­tri­ans are some of the most vul­ner­a­ble users on Al­berta roads. In 2016, there were a to­tal of 14 fa­tal col­li­sions in­volv­ing pedes­tri­ans. Of those, al­most half in­volved a pedes­trian un­safely us­ing a pedes­trian cross­ing and 8 were in­tox­i­cated. In 2015, 50.2 per cent of driv­ers in­volved in pedes­trian ca­su­al­ties failed to yield to the right of way to the pedes­trian (Al­berta Trans­porta­tion, 2015).

We all have a part to play when it comes to traf­fic safety. Be­low are some safety tips to help driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans share the road.

Pedes­tri­ans:

• Make sure to be vis­i­ble to driv­ers at all times. Wear lightly coloured or re­flec­tive cloth­ing at night and brightly coloured cloth­ing dur­ing the day.

• Make eye con­tact with driv­ers in stopped and ap­proach­ing ve­hi­cles to en­sure they see you be­fore you cross in front of them.

• Phones are a part of ev­ery­day life but they dis­tract your at­ten­tion and eyes from the en­vi­ron­ment around you. Put your phone away when walk­ing or cross­ing.

• Don’t wear head­phones. Your ears can tell you a lot about what is hap­pen­ing around you.

• Know and fol­low all traf­fic rules, signs and sig­nals. Be­ing aware of the rules that ve­hi­cles must fol­low al­lows you to an­tic­i­pate what driv­ers will do.

• Never as­sume that a driver will give you the right of way.

• Use cross­walks when cross­ing the street. • Stay on side­walks when­ever pos­si­ble. If a side­walk is not avail­able, walk on the far side of the road fac­ing traf­fic. This will help in­crease your vis­i­bil­ity to driv­ers.

• Avoid walk­ing along high­ways or other road­ways where pedes­tri­ans are pro­hib­ited.

• Al­co­hol and drugs im­pair your de­ci­sion­mak­ing skills, phys­i­cal re­flexes and re­duces your abil­ity to re­spond quickly in traf­fic sit­u­a­tions. Driv­ers

• Look out for pedes­tri­ans at all times.

• In Al­berta, the fine for fail­ing to yield to a pedes­trian in a cross­walk is $776 and four de­merit points. The fine is the same for pass­ing a ve­hi­cle at a cross­walk.

• Fol­low posted speed lim­its at all times, es­pe­cially in ar­eas of heavy pedes­trian traf­fic. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant in ar­eas with low speed lim­its, such as school zones and neigh­bor­hood streets.

• Be mind­ful of pedes­tri­ans when pulling in and out of drive­ways – es­pe­cially if you are back­ing up.

• Al­ways yield to pedes­tri­ans in a cross­walk. • When ap­proach­ing a cross­walk, re­duce your speed and be pre­pared to stop.

• Al­co­hol and drugs im­pair your re­ac­tion time, re­flexes, de­ci­sion-mak­ing skills and over­all cog­ni­tive func­tions. Get­ting be­hind the wheel while im­paired puts ev­ery­one in dan­ger.

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