As the days get shorter, drivers and pedestrians are urged to keep safety top of mind. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star file photo)

As the days get shorter, drivers and pedestrians are urged to keep safety top of mind. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star file photo)

Free reflectors, tips offered to keep Vernon safe during early evenings

As it gets dark earlier, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists urged to look out for each other

As we get closer to winter solstice and the shortest amount of daylight hours in the day, the City of Vernon is reminding everyone to slow down and take care of each other on our roadways.

Pedestrian fatalities in B.C. increase 54 per cent between October and January, according to ICBC.

“Collisions involving pedestrians are more likely to happen at intersections and during the fall and winter months,” said Anne Huisken, Vernon’s active transportation coordinator. “We all play an important role in preventing collisions and keeping our roads safe, and there are many collective actions we can take to protect ourselves and other road users and ensure we all get home safely.”

To help you stay visible, the city has partnered with ICBC to provide free reflectors to the community. If you need a reflector, you can pick one up from Vernon’s Community Safety Office located at 3010 31st Ave.

Tips to getting around safely:

• When walking, cycling, or scootering around town, remember to ‘dress bright at night.’ Light coloured or reflective clothing will increase your visibility.

• Use designated intersections to cross the road.

• When approaching intersections, watch for turning vehicles.

• Make eye contact with drivers before proceeding to cross the road.

• Ensure pets are also visible. Attach a reflector or light to their collar and leash.

• For winter cycling and scootering, dress and ride for the conditions.

• When riding in the dark, as per the Motor Vehicle Act, bikes and scooters require a white headlight (at least 150 metre visibility) mounted to the front, and a rear-facing red taillight or red reflector.

• Adjust your speed to the weather conditions.

• Studded winter tires are recommended for the colder months for bicycles.

Drivers: keep your heads up! Distracted driving, failing to yield to the right of way, and not adjusting driving to weather conditions are the three top contributing factors leading to vehicle collisions with pedestrians, according to ICBC.

In low light and dark conditions, drivers must take extra care, especially near bike lanes, crosswalks, intersections, pathways, downtown, transit stops, and in designated school and playground zones.

• When approaching intersections, scan for people walking and riding before moving through.

• Always shoulder-check before turning right.

• Look both ways and be aware that people riding bikes, scooters, and other small wheels can ride in both directions on multi-use pathways and the 30th Street cycle track.

• Give extra road space when passing people walking and riding along roadways.

For more information about road safety, visit vernon.ca/headsup.

READ MORE: COVID-19, respiratory outbreaks at Okanagan care homes

READ MORE: Bikers nearly doubled in fall challenge


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

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