In Edmonton alone (not including St. Albert, Sherwood Park), 297 pedestrians were injured and 10 killed in 2016. The highest number of injury collisions involving pedestrians happened in November (37), the majority of those happened in low-light conditions (morning and evening).
Pedestrians crossing the road with the right of way — either at a marked crosswalk, an unmarked crossing at an intersection, or at a signalized intersection with a walk sign — made up 68%. Pedestrians injured or killed crossing without the right of way made up nearly 17%. Cars turning left made up 34% of pedestrian collisions. Cars turning right: 19%. (2016 Annual Collision Report)
So far in 2017, nearly 200 pedestrians have been injured and 6 killed in Edmonton.
Vision Zero is a global movement that started in Sweden 20 years ago. It proclaims that NO pedestrian deaths are acceptable. This involves designing and redesigning the infrastructure of streets and crossings to create an environment where vulnerable users are protected. Edmonton was the first major city in Canada to commit to this program. It will take time and financial investment to upgrade Edmonton streets and crossings to achieve this goal but in the long term it works. Until that happens let’s protect ourselves with whatever advantage that we can.
If as many people who are injured or killed in pedestrian car crashes every year were dying of a rare disease – everyone would be right on it--taking action, making sure they didn’t catch it themselves. Sadly however, we seem to accept pedestrian crashes as being an unavoidable side effect of co-existing with cars – “as long no one in my immediate family is injured.”
It’s time to give ourselves a visible, reflective advantage. Wear a splash of colour - unashamedly bright bold Hi Vis colours in daylight/low light conditions and reflective material at night.
The bottom line is: No one can guarantee your safety but you can give yourself and your loved ones an advantage. And that’s what this is all about.
Tip the scales in your favor. Be safe…be seen!
Author: Irene Dixon