Guide to Sharing The Road with Vulnerable Road Users: Pedestrians Edition

In 2021, there were 1,689 motor vehicle collisions that resulted in 1,816 minor injuries, 259 serious injuries and 16 fatalities in Edmonton. 50% of collision fatalities were vulnerable road users. To help decrease the toll of injury and death among vulnerable road users, provinces and municipalities have implemented a variety of safety measures in residential areas that include narrowed streets, speed limits of 30 or 40 km/h, speed bumps and automated speed cameras. 

Who are vulnerable road users?

In 2016, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, mandated the creation of a new task force where territories, stakeholders and provinces collaborated together to help improve the safety of vulnerable road users. In Alberta, vulnerable road users are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders that share the roadways with motor vehicles. When operating your vehicle, you must be cautious around these users as they have less protection than drivers of other types of motor vehicles. 

At James H. Brown and Associates, we have dedicated our “Guide to Sharing The Road with Vulnerable Road Users” to guide motorists on how to share the road with pedestrians, cyclists and motorists safely. Read on to learn more about how to share the road with pedestrians below, or jump to the following blogs for more information:

  • Guide to Share The Road with Vulnerable Road Users: Cyclists Edition
  • Guide to Share The Road with Vulnerable Road Users: Motorcycle Riders Edition

How to Share the Road with Pedestrians?

There are many steps you can take as a motor vehicle driver to practice safe driving around vulnerable road users. Below are some tips to keep in mind when sharing the road with a pedestrian: 

  • At pedestrian crosswalks throughout Edmonton, you will generally find a yellow flashing pedestrian-activated traffic light that notifies you of pedestrians wanting to cross the street. Whenever the yellow lights are flashing, you must slow down to 30 km/h and yield to pedestrians crossing the street
  • In cases where a traffic light isn’t available near a pedestrian crosswalk, pedestrians typically indicate their intent to cross the street by raising their arm and pointing to the opposite curb. In this case, you must come to a complete stop before the crosswalk and allow the pedestrian to cross.
  • If a pedestrian has entered the unmarked or marked crosswalk, you must yield to the pedestrian and stop about two to three car lengths back so cars in other lanes are able to see the pedestrian crossing and have time to stop. 
  • Never try to pass another vehicle when approaching a crosswalk because there’s always a chance that the other vehicle is slowing down/ stopping to allow a pedestrian to cross.
  • Be extra cautious and aware when stopping for visually impaired pedestrians. They might have a guide dog or a white cane.
  • Be alert for pedestrians crossing at night, as they can be difficult to see from a distance if they’re not wearing reflective clothing. 
  • When driving in residential areas, watch out for children, as they can be unpredictable. Practice caution around parked vehicles, school zones and parks.

Have You or Your Loved One Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident in Edmonton?

James H. Brown and Associates are here to help. With over 250 years of combined personal injury law experience, our team of personal injury lawyers takes pride in protecting your rights and supporting you through every step of seeking compensation. We understand firsthand how difficult it is to recover from a life-altering personal injury. Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers in Edmonton are committed to helping you and your family receive the compensation you deserve. 

Book a free consultation with one of our award-winning personal injury lawyers in Edmonton today! 

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