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Pedestrian Road Safety – Street Safety Practices

Did You Know?

Safer walking spaces are critical to pedestrian road safety. When a motor vehicle accident occurs, pedestrians and cyclists are at a considerably higher risk of injury than are motorists. Approximately three quarters of these motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians occur in urban areas. Significantly, the majority of fatalities from pedestrian-vehicle interactions are due to a pedestrian being hit at mid-block location while crossing the road. This is because motorists are not expecting pedestrians to cross at a mid-block location, and often cannot stop in time when they appear suddenly from in between parked cars.

It is important to realize though, that pedestrian road safety is not only the responsibility of individuals who use the road. The behaviors of pedestrians and motorists can also be influenced by the road design or layout, traffic laws, and the environment in which an accident may occur. It is up to both pedestrians and drivers to help keep Ontario’s roads safe as best we can.

In an effort to promote pedestrian road safety, the Government of Ontario has legislated that drivers can be fined anywhere from $150 to $500 and 3 demerit points if they commit a driving offence at crosswalks, school crossings and pedestrian crossings. These fines are doubled near designated Community Safety Zones, which includes public areas and schools.

Below some pedestrian road safety tips are listed for pedestrians and drivers alike in an effort to promote road safety.

Tips on Pedestrian Road Safety for Pedestrians:

  • Wear bright clothing or reflective strips, especially when it is dark outside, to ensure you are visible to other drivers;
  • Make eye contact with drivers before you cross the road to ensure that they see you;
  • Cross the road at designated crosswalks or traffic lights;
  • Never cross the road on a red light;
  • Ensure you only start to cross the road once traffic has come to a complete stop; and
  • Take care to watch for vehicles making turns at intersections, or turning into and leaving driveways.

Tips on Pedestrian Road Safety for Drivers:

  • Take care to look out for pedestrians, especially while turning;
  • Be patient with pedestrians who may require more time to cross the road, including individuals with disabilities or the elderly;
  • Drive carefully through school zones or marked Community Safety Zones, paying special attention to children who may be playing or walking nearby; and
  • Be ready in case a pedestrian makes a sudden and unexpected move.

The Government of Ontario has recently published some new pedestrian safety changes that can be found at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/pedestrian-safety.shtml

It is important that we stay informed and know how the laws are evolving to support initiatives at greater road safety.  Let’s work together as motorists and pedestrians to ensure pedestrian road safety in our communities.

Look for Pedestrians in The Dark

During the winter season, the days are shorter and the nights are longer. This means that many people commuting home from work do so only after the sun has set. Driving at night can be a challenge for all drivers.

Here are some tips to help you become a safe nighttime driver:

  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
  • Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as at nighttime or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or approaching a crosswalk.
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and stop far enough back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to stop safely as well.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be pedestrians crossing that you can’t see.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Follow the speed limit, especially in areas where there are people on the street.
  • Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up your vehicle – pedestrians can suddenly move into your path.
  • Check all intersections carefully, watching for pedestrians.
  • Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. This allows for extra time and space if you need to suddenly react to a situation.
  • Don’t drive if you are feeling drowsy.
  • Focus on the road. Always leave your phone or any other hand-held electronic device alone while you’re driving.

Walking is a healthy way to get around, but unfortunately, pedestrian injuries are all too common. Poor  weather conditions, reckless driving, and unsafe road conditions can all lead to accidents that  injure pedestrians.

Mazin & Associates, PC, Personal Injury Lawyers handles personal injury claims ranging from car accidents, to slips and falls, and brain injury claims.  To arrange a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers, call (416) 625-2122 or visit our website.

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Mazin & Associates PC dedicates itself to achieving maximum settlements in serious personal injury and accident cases. Our areas of practice include car accidents, motorcycle injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, slip and falls, wrongful death, product liability, long-term disability and medical malpractice.

  • Toronto
  • Tel: (416) 625-2122
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  • Toronto, ON M2N 6L4