It’s that time of year when the weather turns less favourable in B.C.
And with the days getting shorter and rainy weather hampering the roads comes a spike in crashes involving pedestrians. In an effort to keep the roads and pedestrians safe, ICBC is partnering up with police and the province to launch a campaign.
“One in five people killed in car crashes are pedestrians,” Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris said in a statement.
“Pedestrians need to watch for drivers turning left at intersections, as they may be focused on oncoming traffic. Remove your headphones and leave your phone alone while crossing the road.”
According to ICBC, 59 pedestrians are killed and 2,300 injured in crashes every year in B.C., with almost half of these fatalities happening when the days between October and January.
This year’s safety campaign is aimed at pedestrians in the highest crash areas in the province, which, according to ICBC statistics, happens predominantly in intersections. Police and ICBC say pedestrians can stay safe by making eye contact, wearing bright and reflective clothing, and staying focused on the road.
During the campaign, community policing volunteers will be handing out reflectors and safety tips across the province in areas with high volumes of pedestrian traffic.
Along with being on-site, the campaign will also feature safety messages on buses, radio and television.
“We’re urging both pedestrians and drivers to do their part to keep our roads safe this time of year,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety.
“About 70 per cent of pedestrian crashes happen at intersections, and while there are cameras at 140 intersections across B.C., it’s important for drivers to slow down every time and for pedestrians to stay focused on what’s going on around them.”