Police issue safety reminder to motorists and pedestrians

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The Durham Regional Police Service is reminding residents and motorists to exercise a bit of extra caution as spring moves into summer.

“Spring is here and with the warmer weather comes more pedestrian traffic on our roadways. The days are longer and more pedestrians will be out and about enjoying the daylight and milder weather,” reads a press release from the DRPS.

“We want to remind motorists and pedestrians to watch out for each other. Motorists need to slow down at intersections and take extra time to scan the surroundings for pedestrians. Pedestrians need to ensure they look at drivers in intersections – make eye contact to ensure the driver sees you – and don’t take shortcuts.”

Even though motor vehicle collisions are down five per cent in Durham Region, the number of pedestrians struck and injured by vehicles has increased by 15 per cent this year. According to the force, the average age of pedestrians struck is 36 years.

“Eleven children under the age of 12 have been struck and injured by a vehicle in 2017 (Jan to May) alone. That number is more than double the five year average,” the press release reads.

The DRPS is offering the following tips to stay safe:

 Pedestrians

  • Cross with care. Make eye contact with drivers and wait until traffic has stopped before you cross;
  • Pay Attention and avoid distractions such as texting;
  • Get noticed. At dusk and in the evening wear bright clothing and reflective gear, especially in poor weather;
  • Be predictable. Use crosswalks and intersections. Never jaywalk; and,
  • Heads up at intersections. Don’t start to cross on the flashing hand or countdown signal. Finish crossing quickly if you’ve already started.

Motorists

  • Be alert for pedestrians at all times, especially at intersections and crosswalks, and even more so in low light or poor weather;
  • Pay attention. Avoid distractions, do not text and drive;
  • See and Be Seen. Make eye contact with pedestrians;
  • Watch for vehicles slowing down around you. They may be yielding to a pedestrian; and,
  • Heads up at intersections. Follow traffic lights, not the flashing hand or countdown signal. Pedestrian signals aren’t always timed to traffic lights.