Township of Langley transportation safety coordinator Ineke Schuurman demonstrates how reflective clothing

Autumn conditions call for caution

Advancing autumn weather conditions have local safety officials warning residents to be extra cautious behind the wheel and on foot.

Advancing autumn weather conditions have local safety officials warning residents to be extra cautious behind the wheel and on foot.

“Both drivers and pedestrians need to be more diligent this time of year, when there is less daylight and the roads are becoming wet and icy,” said Township of Langley traffic safety coordinator Ineke Schuurman. “As the days get shorter and the weather gets worse, visibility deteriorates and it is harder for cars to stop. We all need to be even more careful than normal.”

When on the road, she said, do not assume that other people see you, especially in the early evening or early morning, and don’t assume they will stop, even if you have the right of way.

Pedestrians should wear reflective gear, or at least light-coloured clothing, to increase their visibility this time of year and always use designated crosswalks or intersections. Jay-walking, walking between parked cars, and crossing the street mid-block is never advisable, but it is an especially bad idea when it is dark out.

“Taking an extra minute or two to walk to a designated crossing point could save your life,” said Schuurman.

And while motorists must think of every intersection as a crosswalk and be alert for those on foot, it is not a licence for walkers to just step right out in front of oncoming vehicles – even if they are in a crosswalk.

“Pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks and drivers are required to stop,” Schuurman said, “but that doesn’t guarantee safety, or ensure that cars are going to stop. What if the driver doesn’t see you? What if the road is wet or icy and you haven’t given them enough time to brake? Common sense has to prevail.”

Pedestrians should stand at the curb edge and wait until all traffic has stopped, make eye contact with drivers, and look left, look right, then left again before proceeding.

 

SIDEBAR:

According to ICBC, each year an average of 2,700 pedestrians are injured in car crashes in BC. To help encourage safety on Langley roads this fall, ICBC offers the following tips:

To be a safe pedestrian:

• Always focus your full attention on what’s happening on the roadway so you can see, hear, and respond safely when you’re crossing the street. Removing your headphones and putting away your cellphone or other gadgets can make a difference.

• Make eye contact with drivers, so you both see each other.

• Always be cautious and pay attention to traffic. Drivers may not always stop or obey traffic signals.

• Use designated crossing points and follow pedestrian traffic signs and signals.

• Before stepping off the curb, look left and right for oncoming vehicles. Then look left again for vehicles that may be turning onto the roadway from beside or behind you.

• Wear bright or light-coloured clothing. When the sun starts setting or in bad weather, wear reflective material on your clothes (sleeves, shoes, cap, or jacket).

• Where there are no sidewalks, always walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

 

To be a safe driver:

• Always yield to pedestrians at intersections. You don’t want to break the law.

• Be alert and scan left and right for pedestrians when you approach any intersection.

• If a vehicle is stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding for a pedestrian, so be prepared to stop.

• Be aware of pedestrians who seem unsure or who may not be paying attention. They might dart out or wander onto the roadway.

• Always watch for pedestrians when you’re backing up.

• Before you get into your vehicle, make it a habit to walk around it to ensure no small children are behind your vehicle.

 

At pedestrian crosswalks:

• All pedestrian crosswalks operate the same whether or not they have flashing lights. Drivers are required to stop once someone has entered the crosswalk.

• The flashing lights help alert drivers that pedestrians are crossing or want to cross the street.

• The lights do not guarantee that vehicles will stop. It’s important that drivers and pedestrians make eye contact with each other.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Horgan meets with candidates Pam Alexis and Preet Rai and local citizens in Abbotsford on Wednesday afternoon. (Submitted)
NDP Leader John Hordan campaigns in Abbotsford with local candidates

Horgan meets with hopefuls Pam Alexis and Preet Rai on Wednesday afternoon

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
COVID case confirmed at Fort Langley Seniors Community

One of five new cases reported by Fraser health Authority

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read