Safety Precautions Advised for Pedestrians and Motorists to Avoid Injury

Written by admin, December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012 – Public Health Reminds Residents to Wear Reflective Clothing During Darkest Time of Year

As we reach the darkest part of the year, Peterborough Public Health is reminding both pedestrians and motorists to be safe on the roads to avoid injury when it’s harder to see.

“Pedestrian safety is for all ages. Unfortunately, in traffic incidents involving pedestrians and motorists, it is the pedestrian who suffers, often with tragic results,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “It is the responsibility of both driver and pedestrian to ensure each others’ safety by taking some simple precautions.”

The Public Health recommends the following safety precautions:

As a pedestrian:

  • Wear bright or light-coloured clothing or reflective strips, when walking in dusk or darkness.
  • Cross at marked crosswalks or traffic lights, not in the middle of the block or between parked cars;
  • Make sure drivers see you before you cross;
  • Cross when traffic has come to a complete stop;
  • At a traffic light, cross at the beginning of a green light. Do not cross once the “Don’t Walk” signal begins to flash or once the light has turned to yellow. Never cross on a red light;
  • Watch for traffic turning at intersections or entering and leaving driveways;

As a motorist:

  • Be patient, especially with older pedestrians who need more time to cross the road;
  • Always look for pedestrians, especially when turning;
  • Remember, stay alert and slow down on residential streets and through school zones.

In a 2010 Review of All Accidental Pedestrian Deaths in Ontario, it found that pedestrians over 65 years of age accounted for a strikingly disproportionate share of fatalities based on their representation in the population. They account for about 13.2% of the population, but 36% of the fatalities. Children accounted for 3% of the deaths.

Peak hours for pedestrian collisions were between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily, largely coinciding with peaks in traffic volume.  It was dark or twilight for 57% of fatal pedestrian collisions.  January was the peak month for pedestrian collisions leading to fatalities for Ontarians. Visibility was clear 95% of the time for fatal pedestrian incidents. Road conditions were dry for 81% of the incidents, wet for 14% of the incidents, and snowy for 5% of the incidents.

The report also noted that 76% of fatalities occurred in urban areas and 24% in rural areas. Seventy-five percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred on arterial roads, which are wide, signalized streets that carry high volumes of traffic.

Dr. Salvaterra noted that in another national report examining road fatalities from 2004-2008, pedestrians accounted for 13% of the Canadian total.  Overall, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists made up one-quarter of all traffic fatalities in Canada.

For further information and safety tips, visit and click on “Winter Driving” in the Injury Prevention section.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
705-743-1000, ext. 391