Tips for pedestrian and cyclist safety in fall and winter months
As a pedestrian, cyclist or driver, we have a responsibility to share our roads together safely and make smart decisions. As a driver, we have a particular responsibility to help keep vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists safe.
- With fall and winter weather approaching, we need to prepare for the change in road conditions. At this time of year, the weather is darker and wetter so it’s important to plan for the conditions you may encounter on the road.
- Dress to be seen. Wearing reflective clothing or using reflective gear makes it easier for drivers to see you. This is especially important in wet weather and in low light or dark conditions when drivers may not be able to see you.
- Always make eye contact with drivers. Never assume that a driver has seen you.
Tips by road user:
- Before stepping off the curb, look left and right for oncoming vehicles. Then look left and right again for vehicles that may be turning onto the roadway from beside or behind you. Make sure that vehicles in all lanes are fully stopped before crossing.
- Focus your full attention on what’s happening around you. Drivers may not always stop or obey traffic signals. Remove your headphones and never talk, text or use electronic devices in an intersection or while crossing.
- Be extra cautious at intersections. Watch for vehicles turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers attention may be focused on oncoming traffic so they may not be looking for or see pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Pedestrians in rural areas
- When walking on a road without a sidewalk, walk facing traffic so that you can see oncoming vehicles.
- On roads without sidewalks, always make sure you’re visible to drivers by wearing reflective gear or using a flashlight.
- If you use transit, you’re also a pedestrian. Make sure that you’re visible as a pedestrian when you’re walking to and from your transit stop. Wear clothing or carry items that are reflective so drivers can see you in all weather conditions.
- Be cautious at transit stops. Always cross at designated crosswalks – not mid-block – and avoid taking shortcuts.
- With darker evening commutes and unpredictable weather at this time of year, it’s important to plan for the conditions you may encounter. This means having reflective gear and lights with you in case they become necessary.
- It’s illegal to cycle on sidewalks or in crosswalks. It puts pedestrians in danger and drivers don’t expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk.
- Always be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists – especially in dark, wet weather when visibility is limited, at intersections and near transit stops where pedestrians will be coming and going and may not use crosswalks.
- When turning at an intersection, scan the crosswalk to make sure there are no pedestrians crossing.
- Many cyclists are still on our roads during the fall and winter months. Before you or one of your passengers open a vehicle door, check for oncoming cyclists.
Information provided by ICBC Road Safety Coordinator – Colleen Woodger
Sgt. Steve Eassie #158