A pedestrian was crossing against the light in dark clothing when he was hit by a slow-moving car at the intersection of Fraser Highway and the Langley Bypass late Monday afternoon, Nov. 18. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: A risky month for pedestrians

Langley RCMP urge ‘common sense’ precautions

It was dark and raining Monday night (Nov. 18) when a man wearing dark clothes crossed against the light on Fraser Highway at the intersection with the Langley Bypass.

A driver making a left-hand turn didn’t see the pedestrian in time to stop and knocked him down.

Ambulance paramedics didn’t find any serious injuries and the man declined an offer of transport to hospital.

It was one of three such incidents reported in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley that night.

Langley RCMP are reminding residents that November is a risky time of year for pedestrians, who need to be aware of the potential hazards.

Just because you are in the right, doesn’t mean you are safe, cautioned the head of the Langley RCMP traffic section, Sgt. Matthew LaBelle.

“The crosswalk is not a cone or wall of safety,” LaBelle observed.

“Pedestrians need to be reminded that they have a role in assuring their own safety,” he advised.

Sgt. LaBelle said “common sense” precautions can help prevent accidents, such as walking facing traffic and wearing reflective clothing or attaching reflectors.

READ ALSO: Tags boost pedestrian safety in Langley

ICBC has mounted a pedestrian safety campaign with police and TransLink to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe as crashes with pedestrians spike at this time of year.

ICBC stats show Langley averages 85 pedestrian-related accidents a year.

READ ALSO: Boy struck, injured near Langley pedestrian crossing bridge

According to the insurance agency, the number of pedestrians injured in crashes from October to January nearly doubles as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President of Public Affairs and Driver Licensing said the risk is highest late in the day.

“Crashes with pedestrians are highest between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day, when most of us are commuting home from school and work,” Matthews said.

In B.C., 1,200 pedestrians are injured in crashes between October and January and 670 pedestrians are injured between May and August.

Safety tips from the RCMP in B.C.

For Pedestrians:

Wear bright colours or reflective clothing after dusk and before dawn

Even if you have the right of way, be sure to look before crossing

Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they know you are there

At controlled crosswalks, wait until drivers stop before crossing

If you use earbuds or headphones, make sure you can still hear surrounding noise

For Drivers:

Slow down; roads will start to get slippery and stopping distances increase

Change those tires (If your tires aren’t suited to the weather you can be ticketed and you can be held liable in an accident)

Pay attention to all pedestrian signals-even if you have a green light to drive someone may be crossing a crosswalk at an intersection legally

Shoulder check; many cars with new technology warn of impending collisions, but nothing beats using your own eyes

Pay attention to all road signs; they warn of upcoming hidden intersections and crosswalks

Put down the phone, your call or text is not worth some one’s life



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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