Travellers reminded to be alert, visible

As police brace for a higher number of collisions involving pedestrians that typically occur following the return to standard time in November, they’re reminding all travellers to be vigilant.

York Regional Police (YRP) conducted radar surveillance and teamed up with York Region staff to remind travellers to be alert and visible at a road safety event in Markham in early November.

YRP, York Region and the City of Markham are issuing tips with the goal of improving road safety.

Especially at this time of year, motorists should avoid distractions and be aware of pedestrians and cyclists, drive according to conditions, ensure windshield wiper fluid is full and wipers are functioning properly, and make sure headlights are on when daylight is fading and it’s dark.

Other tips: focus on the road and leave your phone alone; exercise patience when there’s rain or snow; and be ready to stop for pedestrians and cyclists – especially children – near schools, homes, intersections and transit stops. If you see an accident or detour sign, slow down and move over.

Pedestrians, meanwhile, should avoid wearing dark clothing at night and instead wear bright or light-coloured clothing or reflective strips and walk with a flashlight to be more visible to motorists. They’re also reminded to cross streets at designated crosswalks or intersections, and to avoid distractions and make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street.

Other tips: focus on the road and use your phone and headphones wisely; use crosswalks and follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals; and be safe and exercise patience, especially in inclement weather. Be careful at intersections and watch for drivers making left or right turns who are focused on oncoming traffic and not on you.

Cyclists should have a white light at the front of their bicycle and a flashing red LED rear light. In addition to wearing light-coloured clothing, they should wear a safety vest or jacket with reflective material and wear a strobe light in their arm. They should always wear a helmet and like pedestrians, should also focus on the road and leave their phone alone.

At intersections, cyclists should also watch for drivers making turns and should watch for pedestrians focus on completing their crossing. Finally, they should also exercise patience, especially in bad weather.

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