ICBC launches B.C. campaign to help keep pedestrians safe this fall and winter

ICBC is launching a new education campaign across the province to help keep pedestrians safe this fall and winter when crashes involving pedestrians increase significantly in B.C.

On average, 76 per cent more pedestrians are injured in crashes from November to January every year when conditions are dark and weather is poor compared to June to August in B.C.*

ICBC is partnering with TransLink, Transit Police and BC Transit with new advertising featured on SkyTrains and in buses across B.C. to reach pedestrians on transit.

ICBC and community policing volunteers throughout B.C. will also be handing out pedestrian safety reflectors and tips at events throughout the province to help educate pedestrians about the importance of being visible to drivers in dark, fall conditions.

In a new ICBC survey, 76 per cent of drivers and 83 per cent of pedestrians stated they’re concerned about hitting a pedestrian or being hit by a driver in an intersection. Yet, on average, 75 per cent of crashes with pedestrians still occur at intersections in B.C.

“Nearly one in five people killed in car crashes every year in B.C. are pedestrians and most of these deaths are preventable,” said Metro Vancouver Transit Police Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the Traffic Safety Committee of the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police. “Drivers can play a key role in preventing these crashes by staying focused on the road and avoiding distractions. As a pedestrian, it’s important to make eye contact with drivers before crossing – don’t assume a driver has seen you.”

“The majority of pedestrian-related crashes happen at intersections so we’re asking drivers to be vigilant in looking for pedestrians this fall and winter,” said John Dickinson, ICBC’s road safety director. “Pedestrians also need to do their part by making sure they’re seen by drivers and actively looking and listening for oncoming vehicles.”

Tips by road user:

•Be ready to yield to pedestrians – especially at intersections and near transit stops where pedestrians may not use crosswalks.

•When turning at an intersection, look twice to make sure there are no pedestrians crossing.

•Give yourself extra time and space to stop in case a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street.

•Look. Always make eye contact with drivers. Never assume that a driver has seen you.

•Listen. Focus your full attention on what’s happening around you. Remove your headphones and never talk, text or use electronic devices in an intersection or while crossing.

•Be seen. Wear reflective clothing or use reflective gear to make it easier for drivers to see you.

•Be extra cautious at intersections. Watch for vehicles turning left or right through the crosswalk. Always cross at designated crosswalks – never mid-block. Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals and never cross once the signal has turned yellow or red.

Transit users
•Make sure that you’re visible when you’re walking to and from your transit stop. Wear clothing or carry reflective items so drivers can see you in all weather conditions.

•Be cautious at transit stops. Always cross at designated crosswalks – not mid-block. Avoid running for the bus and taking shortcuts.

Quick facts:
•ICBC looked to Scandinavian countries where pedestrian reflectors have been widely used since the 1970s and are credited with helping to reduce pedestrian crashes. The low-light conditions in B.C. in fall, winter and early spring are similar to those found in Scandinavian countries.

•The top contributing factors for drivers in crashes involving pedestrians are: distraction, failure to yield the right of way and weather.