Take steps toward a safe holiday season

Langley RCMP are reminding the public that there are simple precautions that can be taken to keep everyone safe.

  • Dec. 7, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Every year, approximately, 2,700 pedestrians are injured when struck by a vehicle.  As the holiday season approaches, and both foot and vehicle traffic increases in shopping areas, Langley RCMP are reminding the public that there are simple precautions that can be taken to keep everyone safe.

Tips for pedestrians:

• Always focus your full attention on what’s happening on the roadway so you can see, hear and respond safely when you’re crossing the street. Removing your headphones and putting away your cell phone or other gadgets can make a difference;

• Make eye contact with drivers, so you both see each other;

• Always be cautious and pay attention to traffic, because drivers may not always stop or obey traffic signals;

• Use designated crossing points and follow pedestrian traffic signs and signals;

• Before stepping off the curb, look left and right for oncoming vehicles, then look left again for vehicles that may be turning onto the roadway from beside or behind you;

• Wear bright or light-coloured clothing. When the sun starts setting or in bad weather, wear reflective material on your clothes;

• Where there are no sidewalks, always walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

Tips for drivers:

• Always yield to pedestrians at intersections;

• Be alert and scan left and right for pedestrians when you approach any intersection;

• If a vehicle is stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding for a pedestrian, so be prepared to stop;

• Be alert for pedestrians who seem unsure or who may not be paying attention, as they might dart out or wander onto the road;

• Always watch for pedestrians when you’re backing up;

• Before you get into your vehicle, make it a habit to walk around it to ensure no small children are behind your vehicle.

At pedestrian crosswalks:

Flashing pedestrian crosswalk lights are becoming more common across B.C.  All pedestrian crosswalks operate the same whether or not they have flashing lights. Drivers are required to stop once someone has entered the crosswalk.

The flashing lights help alert drivers that pedestrians are crossing or want to cross the street.

The lights do not guarantee that vehicles will stop, so it is important that drivers and pedestrians make eye contact with each other.

RCMP suggest parents post these safety tips somewhere in the home where they can be reviewed with children;

• Always walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk away from the road. This way, you’re further away from the traffic;

• If there’s no sidewalk, always walk facing traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles and drivers can see you;

• Dress to be seen: Bright clothes or clothes with reflective gear make it easier for drivers to see you during the day, night and during bad weather;

• Make sure you can hear signs of danger when crossing the street; Take your headphones off until you get to the other side;

• Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks. Never jaywalk;

• Parked vehicles in a parking lot or on the road can be dangerous. A driver may not see you between parked vehicles, and you may not see them moving. Stop and look left-right-left around the parked vehicle before crossing

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