Richmond RCMP and Community Police station volunteers and the ICBC Road Safety Team recently participated in a Pedestrian Safety awareness campaign. Richmond's high volume foot traffic areas were targeted, providing passersby with pedestrian safety tips and a reflective armband increase their visibility in the dark.
Cst. Aaron Penner, Richmond RCMP met with Mitchell School’s Grade 7 students to talk about pedestrian safety.
Students were reminded to cross the road only at intersections and designated crosswalks, and to make eye contact with drivers before stepping off the curb, even in marked crosswalks, as drivers may be distracted or may not see them due to darkness or bad weather.
Pedestrians need to wear bright, reflective clothing or reflective arm bands whenever walking at night.
When crossing the street:
- Always use a designated crosswalk, do not jaywalk. Before stepping onto the road, make sure all vehicles have come to a complete stop.
- Look in all directions before crossing, even if a crosswalk signal has been activated.
- Make eye contact with drivers. Never assume they can see you or that they are stopping! Always err on the side of caution: the consequences of an accident are far graver for the pedestrian than for the vehicle.
- Never assume that just because you see the vehicle, that the driver sees you. Headlights, traffic and other distractions compete with your visibility.
- Visually scan each lane as you cross the street, ensuring all vehicles are stopped.
- All walkers, joggers and cyclists need to remove their earbuds/headphones and don't use a cellphone or other electronic devices when crossing.
- Keep your head up, whether on the sidewalk or street, we all need to look ahead and around to be aware of our environment.
- Wear reflective materials when travelling at night to increase your visibility. Dress to be seen!
- Be aware that not all drivers will see/obey traffic signals!
- Be cautious! Intersections are one of the most challenging areas for drivers and pedestrians.
- Avoid rushing to cross the street to board public transit.
- You are responsible for keeping yourself safe, please use these pedestrian safety tips.
- Failure to Cross a Major or Minor Arterial Road within a crosswalk or at an intersection (jaywalking) is an offence under the City of Richmond's Traffic Bylaw No. 5870, and is punishable by a fine of $50.00.
Tips for Drivers:
- Remain attentive at all times. Not only is it illegal to use a hand-held device while driving, the consequences can be deadly.
- Slow down and pay attention when driving near bus stops or Skytrain stations.
- Pay particular attention around intersections where 75% of all pedestrian incidents occur. Watch while turning left or right for pedestrians who have already begun to cross.
- When making turns, establish eye contact with pedestrians.
- And remember that the rain makes the roads more slick, so build in a bit more braking time.