It’s safer to walk when eyes lock

Richard Froese

Safety is a shared responsibility and when drivers and pedestrians make eye contact with each other, crossing the street is much safer.
Pedestrian collisions tend to be higher in months with lower light and inclement weather conditions, says a news release from the Government of Alberta on Oct. 3.
Between 2011 and 2015, 44 pedestrians were killed and more than 1,187 were injured each year, on average.
“Practising safe behaviours is simple; it can be as easy as ensuring you make eye contact with the driver or pedestrian before proceeding,” Transportation Minister Brian Mason says.
“Both drivers and pedestrians need to be alert at intersections and crosswalks to avoid tragedy.”
Police also caution people about being cautious around pedestrians.
“When it comes to pedestrian safety, everyone has an important role to play,” says Insp. Steve Daley, Acting Officer-in-Charge of Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.
“Drivers need to watch for pedestrians and for vehicles stopped or slowing down in the next lane, as they may be yielding to a pedestrian.
People walking and crossing roads are also advised to take proper and safe steps.
“Pedestrians should cross only at intersections and crosswalks and make eye contact with the drivers in each of the lanes you are crossing,” Daley says.
That will become more important as daylight reduces into the winter.
Albertans return to Mountain Standard Time on Nov. 5 at 2 a.m. when the clocks turn back one hour.
Pedestrian safety facts:
-The majority of pedestrian casualty collisions (96.4 per cent) occurred in urban areas in 2015.
-50.2 per cent of drivers involved in pedestrian casualty collisions failed to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian (2015).
-In 2015, the casualty rates per 10,000 population were highest for pedestrians aged 15 to 19.
However, 86 per cent of pedestrians killed were 25 and older.
-The likeliest time for these collisions was between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and more incidents occurred on Tuesdays than any other day (2015).
-In 2015, 21.7 per cent of pedestrians involved in fatal collisions had consumed alcohol.


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