Taking An Extra Step Towards Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable users of the road and therefore, should always take extra steps to be safe. Each year more than 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads accounting for 22% of the total 1.24 million road traffic deaths. It is up to both drivers and pedestrians to keep everyone safe on Ottawa’s roadways. The best way to ensure your safety whilst walking Ottawa’s streets is to simply follow the rules of the road. By adhering to traffic signals and signs whilst remaining visible, you not only increase your own safety but those around you too.

In 2016 the Ontario provincial government changed the laws for pedestrian crossovers and school crossings in an effort to improve pedestrian safety. Drivers and cyclists must now stop and yield at pedestrian crossovers until the person is completely off the roadway. Any violation of this new law comes with a hefty fine of up to $500.

Additionally, it is important to remember the differences between crossovers and crosswalks. Crossovers are identified by specific signs, pavement markings, overhead lights and push buttons. Whereas a crosswalk is often located at intersections with traffic signals, pedestrian signals or stop signs.

What can drivers and pedestrians do to prevent pedestrian accidents? There are numerous ways that drivers and pedestrians can reduce the risk of pedestrian related injuries.

Pedestrians should:
• Increase their visibility by wearing reflective or bright clothing at night-time
• Carry a flashlight when walking at night
• Never jaywalk but use designated crosswalks and intersections correctly
• Look out for vehicles turning at crossings, ensuring they stop
• Pay attention to car noise as this may indicate what a driver is planning next

Drivers should:
• Always stay alert, especially in residential areas and school zones
• Slow down and adhere to the speed limit when passing through crosswalks and intersections
• Ensure headlights shine correctly at night

Unfortunately, road users can’t always plan for the negligence of others. At Sicotte Guilbault, our team of personal injury professionals are focused on bringing clarity to your legal matters and doing things right. Learn how we can help you by contacting us today for a free consultation.