With a new school year back in full swing and the Fall weather upon us, it’s a perfect time for all of us to (re)familiarize ourselves with the rules for ensuring pedestrian safety.
Remember, keeping our roads safe is a shared responsibility.
- Cross only at marked crosswalks or traffic lights. Don’t cross in the middle of the block or between parked cars.
- Make sure drivers see you before you cross. If the driver is stopped, make eye contact before you step into the road.
- Wear bright or light-coloured clothing or reflective strips, especially at dusk or when it’s dark.
- At a traffic light:
- Cross when traffic has come to a complete stop.
- Begin to cross at the start of the green light or “Walk” signal, where provided.
- Do not start to cross if you see a flashing “Do Not Walk” symbol or the light turns yellow. If you already started to cross, complete your crossing in safety.
- Never cross on a red light.
- Watch for traffic turning at intersections or turning into and leaving driveways.
Drivers and Cyclists:
Pay special attention to pedestrians as you drive. Here are some tips to follow:
- Always look for pedestrians, especially when turning.
- Watch for children. Drive slowly and cautiously through school zones, residential areas, or any other area where children could be walking or playing.
- Watch out for Community Safety Zone signs that indicate areas where public safety is a special concern, including the possibility of encountering pedestrians.
- Be patient, especially with seniors or pedestrians with disabilities who need more time to cross the road.
- Drive carefully near streetcar stops with islands or zones for passengers getting on and off. Pass them at reasonable speeds, and always be ready in case pedestrians make sudden or unexpected moves.
Show your children how to cross a road safely. Teach them to:
- Stay to the side of the road, walking as far away from traffic as they safely can
- Stop at the edge of the sidewalk, and look both ways before crossing the road
- Take extra care on roadways that have no curbs
- Watch out for blind corners (for example, a car coming out of an alley may not see a child pedestrian about to cross).
For more information on pedestrian safety, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.