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As weather worsens, pedestrian crashes rise

Emergency responders hit Fort Langley streets to talk safety
Township engineering staff joined the bylaws crew, firefighters, police, and ICBC in a pedestrian safety awareness campaign last week, where they handed out reflectors and safety tips to people walking around on the streets of Fort Langley. (ICBC/Special to Black Press Media)

This weekend is Daylight Saving Time, and ICBC among others want to remind motorists to adjust their driving when they adjust their clocks to prevent crashes with pedestrians.

Along that lines, emergency responders, Township staff, and ICBC team members hit the local streets last week to educate pedestrians about the importance – especially at this time of year – of being seen in the dark by drivers.

Last Thursday, the team was in Fort Langley distributing several hundred reflectors, as well as information to people in the village, said Leanne Cassap, the local ICBC road safety coordinator.

As weather conditions worsen, the risk of pedestrian crashes increase. In fact, between October and January, pedestrian fatalities increase by an average of 54 per cent in B.C., according to ICBC’s latest statistics.

The Community Against Preventable Injuries: TIPS FOR ADJUSTING DRIVING FOR FALL

The reaction from pedestrians to the awareness project was “great,” Cassap said.

“People were appreciative, and some even had reflectors attached to their clothing and wheelchair from previous years,” she noted.

Township of Langley firefighters were involved in the campaign, and Cpt. Krista Barton, public safety officer, said the team was “proud” to be involved.

“We believe that we all have a role to play in keeping each other safe. So please, do your part, keep your focus on the road, watch for pedestrians, and leave your phone alone while you are driving. Help keep pedestrians, fellow drivers, road side workers, and first responders safe,” she said.

The team was out on the street urging drivers and pedestrians alike to do their part to help prevent crashes.

“Pedestrian safety is up to all of us. We’re reminding road users to be extra alert during the fall and winter months, as visibility and weather conditions worsen,” Cassap said.

“When driving, focus on the road, avoid distractions and be ready to yield to pedestrians – especially at intersections. As a pedestrian, always use designated crosswalks, make eye contact with drivers and try to be as reflective as possible.”

ICBC and community policing volunteers are expected to be out periodically, handing out reflectors and providing safety tips in more high pedestrian traffic areas in the days to come.


A few basic tips:

• Slow down and be ready to yield to pedestrians, especially at intersections, crosswalks, and around transit stops. Here are a few more driving adjustments you can make to help keep injuries preventable this fall and winter:

• Focus on the road, expect the unexpected, and take extra time to look for pedestrians.

• Drive for the conditions—that means slowing down in poor conditions.

• Remember to shoulder check when turning left or right.

• If they don’t turn on automatically, remember to manually turn your headlights on before it gets dark.

• Avoid distractions while driving: keep your phone out of reach and out of sight at all times behind the wheel.

RELATED: Safety campaign hits Langley’s streets

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PLUS: Elderly pedestrian hit by teenaged driver in Langley


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A team of community partners hit the streets of Fort Langley last week to distribute reflectors and pedestrian safety tips. The basic message: Be Safe. Be Seen. (ICBC/Special to Black Press Media)

About the Author: Langley Advance Times Staff

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