Victoria, British Columbia — October 19, 2016 — Fall typically brings with it a spike in crashes involving pedestrians. This is due in part to students returning to school, with a recent report likening the situation in school zones to the “Wild West,” but the season also brings changes in weather that can make it more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), in cooperation with the BC government, is launching a fresh campaign to reduce collisions involving pedestrians.
“Fall brings less daylight and weather changes including rain and fog, which means visibility can be poor this time of year,” said Todd Stone, BC’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Drivers need to be especially cautious at intersections and look out for pedestrians. As pedestrians, it’s critical we do what we can to be seen by drivers.”
British Columbia sees an annual average of 59 pedestrians killed and an additional 2,300 injured in crashes. Nearly half of the facilities (46 percent) occur between October and January.
This year’s pedestrian safety campaign will feature radio advertising aimed at drivers and transit advertising aimed at pedestrians in the highest pedestrian crash areas of the province, along with online advertising. However, as Chief Constable Neil Dubord points out, drives involved in crashes with pedestrians are often distracted or fail to yield the right of way. Dubord is the Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee.
“These behaviours are not only against the law, they’re simply unacceptable,” said Dubord. Pedestrians can help reduce their risk of being struck by obeying traffic signals in intersections and only crossing at designated crosswalks. Wearing reflective clothing and not being distracted by your cell phone may also be helpful in reducing your risk. Preventing these collisions is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep everyone safe on our roadways.”