Stand out while walking at night

Kamloops Daily News
December 16, 2013 01:00 AM

Yet another needless pedestrian fatality has occurred that will change the lives of at least two families this Christmas - that of the deceased and for the driver, too.

Out walking his dog, an elderly man was struck in an unlit section along Dallas Drive, east of Lafarge, on Thursday night.

Less serious pedestrian accidents occur all the time and it's not a problem unique to Kamloops, but such incidents become more common in winter when the days are shorter and it's harder to see people walking in the dark.

Crossing the road or walking your dog in the evening shouldn't have to be scary, but a heightened alertness will serve those on foot well.

Think about it this way - after the sun sets, you become invisible if you're on foot.

Yes, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks and drivers need to pay better attention but ultimately, the responsibility lies with each individual to safeguard his or her own personal safety.

As the City reminds people each fall with its Get Your Glow On event, it's important for pedestrians to arm themselves with the myriad tools available to make themselves more visible, like wearing light or brightly-coloured clothing with reflective material or a visi-vest (they even make them for dogs), trying to stay in well lit areas, on sidewalks where possible and using a flashlight or headlight.

Walkers should consider moving to the side of the road while a car is passing by if they're on a road without sidewalks and turn off the headphones; one moment of inattention can mean the end.

And avoid trying to beat the flashing pedestrian crossing signal while the roads are slick; the visibility is poor and drivers have a harder time stopping.

According to the U.S. National Safety Council, the chances of a pedestrian being hit and killed increase 1,100 per cent after dark.

If you must walk at night, shift the odds more in your favour by staying as visible as possible, alert and alive.

© Copyright 2015 Kamloops Daily News

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