THIS weekend, clocks will turn back for Daylight Saving Time (2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5). Darker, wetter days can lead to an increase in crashes on the street, and everyone can play a part in ensuring we all get home safely.
“The City of Vancouver has a goal to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries from happening on our streets. Even when we build for safety, we need to work together as a community to raise awareness about the rules of the road and how we can all make sure we are travelling safely,” said Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering Services for the City of Vancouver, on Thursday. “We depend on everyone to take accountability for their daily behaviour, and rely on our partners from ICBC and Vancouver Police Department to help educate and enforce good behaviour.”
In particular, people walking are the most vulnerable, and among people, walking seniors are the most likely to suffer a serious injury or fatality as a result of a crash – whether it’s a collision with a car or a bicycle.
“Eighty-one per cent of crashes that injure pedestrians in the Lower Mainland occur at intersections,” said Aileen Shibata, ICBC road safety program manager. “As visibility and road conditions worsen at this time of year, we all need to be focused on the road and be extra cautious at intersections. When you’re driving, be ready to yield the right-of-way. When you’re walking, always make eye contact with drivers and never assume a driver has seen you.”
Pedestrian collisions are more frequent between 3 and 8 p.m. and during darkness in winter months. Although pedestrians are involved in less than 1 per cent of all traffic collisions, they account for 61 per cent of all traffic fatalities in Vancouver. In the last five years on average 40 per cent of the traffic related fatalities in the City of Vancouver have been seniors.
“Road safety is a shared responsibility,” said VPD Constable Jason Doucette. “Through ongoing education and enforcement, we will continue to work with our partners to make our roadways safe for all pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.”
Practice road safety at all times:
* When driving: Slow down at intersections and wait until pedestrians have crossed the road completely. Remember pedestrians have the right of way.
* When cycling: Slow down at intersections, make eye contact with people driving and walking, yield to pedestrians, and wear bright and reflective clothing to be more visible in the dark.
* When walking: When crossing the street, make eye contact with drivers and cyclists. Wear bright or reflective clothing to be more visible in the dark. Always cross at designated crossing areas.
PREPARE for winter travel: Equip your car with winter tires. They are required by the Province of BC on Provincial highways. Having them ready to go will ensure you can zip off on your ski trips and get to work safely when snow and ice arrives.
We all have a role to play to keep our streets safe. Responsibility for safer streets depends on everyone being aware of their surroundings, regardless of their mode of travel.
To learn more about how the City is improving safety on our streets and what you can do enhance your personal safety, visit www.vancouver.ca/