Submitted by Tom Shindruk, Fleet Safety International classroom instructor
With the new school year about to start, it’s time to look at how we can ensure that our children and other pedestrians are safe.
Remember that when you get out of your vehicle you become a pedestrian. When you are driving, treat pedestrians the same way you would like to be treated if you were walking.
– Always be aware by watching for pedestrians on or near the road.
– If a pedestrian has entered a marked or unmarked crosswalk, a motorist must stop their vehicle before entering the crosswalk and yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian. When stopping for a pedestrian, remember to stop far enough back so that traffic in another lane is able to see the pedestrian in the crosswalk and have time to stop.
– When a pedestrian intends to cross a street at a crosswalk in an urban area, they may, before leaving the curb, indicate their intention to do so by raising their arm approximately at right angle to their body and point to the opposite curb in the direction they want to walk.
– When a pedestrian has indicated their intention to cross the street, a motorist must stop their vehicle before entering the crosswalk and allow the pedestrian to cross.
– When you see a yellow flashing pedestrian-activated traffic light, slow down to 30 km/h and yield to any pedestrians wanting to cross the street.
– Never pass another vehicle when approaching a crosswalk. There could be a chance that the other vehicle is slowing down or about to stop for a pedestrian.
– Remember that not all crosswalks are marked, but almost all intersections have crosswalks.
– Be considerate to the visually impaired or persons with disabilities in intersections. Watch for persons with a white cane or guide dog.
– At night DO NOT “over drive your headlights”. This could mean that you are unable to stop your vehicle within the distance that is illuminated by your headlights. Be especially alert for pedestrians, they might be wearing dark clothing and are hard to see from a distance.
– In residential areas, watch for children playing in the street. They may be riding bicycles or dart out from between parked cars. Always glance under parked vehicles ahead to check for children’s feet, toys, bike/tricycle wheels that might indicate the need to make a quick stop.
Now that the new school year is upon us, remember to slow down in areas near schools and playgrounds. The speed for both urban and rural school/playground zones is 30 km/h unless otherwise posted. This is in effect from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm every day of the year.
Be a SAFE driver and make sure that pedestrians are SAFE too.