Drivers and pedestrians both need to exercise extra vigilance in light of recent collisions between vehicles and pedestrians, say police in the region.
Although poor visibility, bad weather and lack of road lighting have been contributing factors in a number of recent incidents, some of the collisions have also happened in broad daylight in marked crosswalks.
Police and driving experts offer advice on how to minimize your risk of being in a collision:
BE AWARE OF SURROUNDINGS
"Pedestrians should ensure they have eye contact with drivers before crossing a road," said Steve Wallace, president of Wallace Driving School.
"Some people don't look for hazards before they step on the road," he said.
"In a collision between a 1,300-kilogram car and a 68-kilogram person, who do you think will win?"
Similar advice applies to drivers. "Drivers have the responsibility to reduce speed as the weather dictates," said Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz of the West Shore RCMP. They should also make sure their tires, headlights and windshield wipers are in good conditions, she said.
Pedestrians should make sure they can be seen by wearing reflective clothing or removable reflective tape whenever they walk along a roadway.
"I recommend people raise their arms, maybe even wave them around, and point in the direction of their travel whenever crossing a roadway," Wallace said.
He said while some crosswalks are "fantastic," with flashing amber lights and proper lighting, many are poorly lit - if at all.
Some people have taken to wearing reflective vests typically seen on construction sites.
Much has been reported about distracted drivers.
Police are making many of the same recommendations to pedestrians.
"Distraction has certainly become an issue [for pedestrians]," said Sgt.
Dean Jantzen of the Saanich police. "People are listening to music or texting and fail to hear oncoming vehicles."
Along with the most recent pedestrian collisions, there have been two fatalities locally and a number of people injured:
? A 13-year-old Langford
boy died after being struck by a vehicle on Sooke Road Oct. 23. On the same day, a 29-year-old woman was hit by a B.C. Transit bus, and a 17-year-old was struck in a crosswalk at West Saanich and Prospect Lake Road.
? An 84-year-old Oak Bay
resident was hit in a crosswalk with the flashing lights activated on Cadboro Bay Road Nov. 12.
? A woman in her 70s died
after she was struck by a truck on Douglas and Discovery streets last week.
? In Nanaimo, a 70-year-old man was killed, a 76-yearold woman left in critical condition and a 55-year-old man hospitalized after they were struck by vehicles in separate incidents last month.
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