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Keeping pedestrians safe with a few simple steps

September 9, 2021
Feature Stories

Parents and child crossing at school safety crossing.

This fall, life will be a little different for us all. Kids have returned to in-school learning and, slowly but surely, more people will return to work. That also means more people will be using our city’s streets and sidewalks.

As everything gets busier again, let’s all make a point to protect our most vulnerable road users: pedestrians.

Most fatal collisions for pedestrians take place in the fall

The data speaks for itself – most fatal and major injury collisions involving pedestrians take place in the fall. In fact, almost 40 per cent of all such collisions with pedestrians happen between October and December.

Please pay close attention at dusk and dawn, when it might be tougher to see pedestrians. And take care when driving home from work. The highest number of collisions involving pedestrians occurs during the afternoon rush, from 3 to 6 pm.

What can you do to make our roads safer?

Drivers and cyclists can:

  • Always be cautious and yield to pedestrians.
  • Look both ways for pedestrians before turning at an intersection.
  • Obey posted speed limits and slow down in areas where there may be pedestrians, particularly in school zones.
  • Pay close attention at dawn and dusk when it might be harder to see pedestrians.

Pedestrians can:

  • Make yourselves visible by wearing reflective and light-coloured clothing at night, dawn and dusk to help drivers see you.
  • Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
  • Cross at crosswalks or intersections. Don't assume drivers will stop, make eye contact with drivers before you proceed to cross the road.

And as a reminder, since restaurants and bars have re-opened, never drive impaired. Whether by alcohol or drugs, driving impaired can have deadly consequences for you and for others. Make the right call. Assign a designated driver. Take public transportation, a rideshare or taxi. Phone a friend. Spend the night. There are many better and safer options to get you home and to keep everyone safe.

Find out what else we’re doing to make our roads safer with our updated Road Safety Action Plan.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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