Walking across the street may seem like an everyday task but with the recent fatality of a pedestrian, a 59-year-old female from Oshawa, Durham Regional Police want to remind drivers and pedestrians to be alert at all times. Half of all traffic fatalities involve pedestrians so it is important to practice safe walking and driving habits.
Pedestrians should look both ways and cross at the beginning of a green light: never on a red light. Make sure to be seen by motorists by wearing bright or light coloured clothing, especially when walking at night. If possible make eye contact with drivers before crossing to make sure that they see you. Be aware of traffic turning at intersections and entering or leaving driveways. Icy walkways can also cause people to slip and fall so pedestrians should ensure they have plenty of time when crossing the street. As well, many pedestrians wear headphones while walking, which may increase the level of danger as they can’t hear cars horns or warning shouts. Ensure that the music volume is at a level where you can still hear what is going on around you and be extra diligent if you are wearing headphones. Another recent concern is texting and walking. Your concentration needs to be on your surroundings and not on your phone. If you need to send a message you should stop to type and send the message before continuing.
Motorists should slow down in residential areas and school zones: children often dart out into traffic. When children and the elderly are crossing, motorists should be patient. It is important for drivers to check mirrors and blind spots on a regular basis to keep aware of the surroundings. During the winter, snowbanks can impede a driver’s line of vision so motorists should use extra caution during this time.
In 2011 there were approximately 90 incidents involving motorists and pedestrians and five already in 2012. DRPS wants to encourage pedestrians and drivers to take extra precaution to make sure you arrive at your destination safely!
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