The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP, along with the City of Vernon and ICBC, is working together to launch the Heads Up! pedestrian safety campaign.
The campaign will launch Wednesday at high-risk locations to raise awareness of pedestrian collisions. The campaign will remind pedestrians and drivers that pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility and to be aware and keep your heads up.
RCMP officers and city volunteers will be distributing reflectors and safety tips for pedestrians and drivers at targeted locations for the month of November. There will be signage on-location with pedestrian safety messaging, and a social media campaign using the hashtag #HeadsUp.
“Often pedestrian-involved collisions occur when drivers are executing right- or left-hand turns at intersections and when pedestrians are either jay-walking, wearing dark clothing or not paying attention to what’s around them as well,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett.
“Road safety is a shared responsibility. Staying visible and making eye contact with fellow road users is not just a tip. It could reduce your chances of sustaining serious injury or being charged with an offence.”
Christine Kirby, ICBC road safety and community coordinator, said 43 per cent of all crashes where a pedestrian gets injured happen in just four months of the year, October to January, as visibility and conditions get worse.
“When driving, we need to take a break from our phones, be extra alert at intersections and be ready to yield the right-of-way,” said Kirby. “When walking, we need to help drivers see us by staying focused on the road and making eye contact with drivers.”
Added Angela Broadbent, active transportation coordinator with the City of Vernon: “Whether we are walking, biking, or driving, we all have a responsibility to take care of each other on our roads. As the days get darker, it is important to slow down and be mindful, especially at intersections and in areas frequented by children.”
For more information on road safety and pedestrian tips, please visit the BC RCMP website or Vernon.ca/headsup.