The Fort RCMP wish to advise the residents of Fort Saskatchewan and Lamont County that the 2015 Alberta Traffic Safety Plan has designated November as Pedestrian Safety Month. The RCMP want to remind everyone that crashes involving pedestrians increase at this time of year because of reduced visibility caused by weather as well as days getting shorter. On average, more pedestrians are injured in crashes in Alberta from September through January every year compared to April through August.
Between 2010 – 2014, on average 43 pedestrians were killed and more than 1,170 were injured each year. In 2014 the majority of pedestrian casualty collisions approximately 95.8 per cent occurred in urban areas and 47.9 per cent of the drivers involved in pedestrian casualty collisions failed to yield the right of way to the pedestrian. Both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for safety. Motorists need to remember pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, but also have the responsibility to cross safely.
Some tips to remember for drivers are when approaching an intersection or crosswalk, be alert for pedestrians. Keep an eye out and watch for vehicles stopped or slowing in the lane next to yours. They may be yielding to a pedestrian. Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk carries a fine of $776 plus four demerit points. As well as to stay alert and slow down on residential streets, and through school and playground zones.
Pedestrians also need to be aware of their surroundings and be alert at intersections and always look out for danger when crossing the street. They are reminded to make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street. Being seen is also a big one, wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing especially when walking in low light or poor weather conditions. Abide by traffic signs and signals. They are in place for your safety.
The Fort Saskatchewan RCMP and the Fort Saskatchewan Municipal Enforcement’s focus for the month of November will be directed towards enforcing pedestrian safety laws under the Traffic Safety Act. For more information please contact the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP at 780-992-6100.