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Safe Street Crossing

Walking is a fun and healthy activity that allows you to enjoy all your community has to offer. But as a pedestrian and/or motorist, you must be aware of the potential dangers of sharing the road with others who may not always see you.

Stay on the sidewalk - Whether you’re walking, or in a wheelchair/scooter, sidewalks and pathways offer protection from vehicles.  If necessary, travel on the shoulder of the left lane, facing oncoming traffic.

Cross at a crosswalk - Always use marked crosswalks or pedestrian-activated signals when they are available and cross only at a corner if they are not.  Crossing in the middle of the road – jaywalking - is extremely dangerous because drivers are not anticipating pedestrians crossing in the middle of the street so they may not have enough time to avoid hitting you.  Jaywalking is also illegal and you could be fined.

Look before you leap - Before crossing the street it is important to look left, then right and then left again to see any oncoming traffic.  You may have the right-of-way, but motorists may not always be watching for you.  Always be mindful of turning vehicles.

Put down your phone - Just like drivers, pedestrians are often distracted by technology. Remove headphones and avoid talking on cellphones when crossing the street. With your full attention you will be able to respond to hazards and avoid collisions with vehicles.

Keep children close - Don’t let children run out ahead of you. Children are less visible than adults and may not always exercise good judgment about safety - so stay close enough to pull them to safety.

Proceed with caution when crossing more than one lane of traffic – Check the traffic in all other lanes and when the lane is clear, walk - don’t run. This will allow drivers more time to see and come to a safe stop. Most pedestrians overestimate the distance at which drivers can see them.  PAUSE until all vehicles in the next lane are stopped. Assume drivers don’t see you and never step out into the next traffic lane until you have made eye contact with drivers and you are certain they will stop.  Drivers may not realize other vehicles have stopped for pedestrians.  Keep scanning both sides of the road as you cross.  Stop in the middle of the crosswalk if you have to and make sure all oncoming vehicles intend to stop.

Wear light colours - Most pedestrian/vehicle collisions occur in late afternoon and early evening.  Wear bright reflective clothing at night, in the evening and in the early morning hours so drivers can see you.