Langley RCMP volunteer Nicholas Manhas was handing out reflective tags to pedestrians and transit users last week on Fraser Highway. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Langley RCMP volunteer Nicholas Manhas was handing out reflective tags to pedestrians and transit users last week on Fraser Highway. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Vernon drivers, pedestrians reminded to stay safe

RCMP are prioritizing safety this October

With Halloween only a few days away, Vernon Mounties are focusing on reminding motorists that October is pedestrian safety month.

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said nearly half of the pedestrian-involved collisions in British Columbia happen between October and January as the days get shorter.

“These collisions frequently occur when drivers are turning at intersections or when a pedestrian is jaywalking, wearing dark clothing or not paying attention,” media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said.

“We need to prioritize pedestrian safety and do everything we can to prevent someone from becoming seriously injured or killed.”

Here are some general tips for both drivers and pedestrians can take:

Pedestrians:

• Be bright. Wear light-coloured, reflective or lit clothing whenever possible;

• Be predictable; cross at crosswalks, do not jaywalk and follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals;

• Pay attention. Put your devices down, remove earbuds, watch for vehicles;

• Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers;

• Walk on sidewalks if available. If there’s no sidewalk, always make sure you’re walking towards oncoming traffic.

Drivers:

• Avoid distractions, focus on the road and leave your phone alone while driving;

• Drive with your lights on to increase visibility, regardless of the time of day;

• Scan for pedestrians at all times, especially when approaching and turning at intersections;

• Be cautious of pedestrians who may be distracted, jaywalking, or unaware of their surroundings (texting, on the phone, wearing headphones);

• Obey the speed limit and drive relative to road conditions – not to avoid tickets but to avoid tragedy.

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