They were impossible to miss — a dayglow-orange-clad crowd of 20 pedestrians dancing back and forth across West Columbia Street to the deafening beat of dance music.
But that was the point. The City of Kamloops held its second Get Your Glow On event on Friday to bring attention to pedestrian perils.
“As we approach time change, Halloween, winter, cleaning up a lot of construction projects, you have to anticipate that pedestrians are going to be in places maybe where we haven’t seen them before,” said deputy mayor Ken Christian.
The joint effort involving Interior Health, the RCMP, ICBC and Royal Inland Hospital is aimed at both walkers and drivers.
“Pedestrians need to know that they can’t text and walk. They can’t assume cars are going to stop,” said Christian.
“And motorists need to anticipate what pedestrians might do as well.”
Christian also acknowledged that public agencies can help.
“Sometimes we’ve got to think about the design of roads, the maintenance of roads, enforcements issues,” he said.
Pedestrian safety became a top issue last year with back-to-back tragedies in Kamloops. A total of 67 pedestrians and cyclists wer struck by vehicles last year.
In September 2012, a young woman was hit when a car ran a red light at Fortune Drive and Leigh Road.
In November, a woman was fatally injured while in a crosswalk at Sixth Avenue and Victoria Street, a man was struck while crossing Fortune Drive and Chestnut Avenue and a woman’s dog was fatally struck as she walked it along Hugh Allan Drive.
And in December, a 53-year-old man had his lower leg severed after he was pinned to a post in front of the downtown Cooper's Food Store by a van that jumped the curb.
Get Your Glow On launched last spring to encourage pedestrians to wear the same bright and reflective attire on display during the event.
“Light up your fall and Halloween outfits to avoid being lit up in the CT scanner on a trauma stretcher,” said Dr. Alan Vukusic, RIH medical trauma director.