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Campaign to encourage pedestrians, drivers to take active role in safety

Last Updated Nov 17, 2015 at 1:21 pm PDT

(Shannon Brennan, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s all about visibility.

Police in Vancouver and West Vancouver, ICBC, and community volunteers handed out reflective discs to pedestrians this morning so drivers can see them, especially this time of year.

“This is just part of our campaign to get the message out to pedestrians, to encourage them to be aware when they’re out there on the road and make sure that they’re seen by drivers,” says Joanna Linsangan with ICBC.

She tells us pedestrians must take a more active role in their safety.

“When you’re out there on the road — even if you’re on the sidewalk — you need to be aware of what’s going on around you. That means putting down your phone and taking out those headphones before you cross in that crosswalk and making sure that you make eye contact with the driver before you cross.”

Other pedestrian safety tips include wearing bright reflective clothing at night and carrying a light or using the pedsafe app to help drivers see you.

Linsangen adds the rate of pedestrian injuries due to crashes double during the dark winter months.

Officers are also reminding drivers to pay attention, watch for pedestrians, and slow down. They’re telling drivers to expect the unexpected, pointing out a car stopping in the lane beside you may be yielding to a pedestrian crossing the road.

Cyclists are being reminded to not drive their bikes on the sidewalk. Stay to the right side of the roadway or in designated bike lanes. They should also use a bell to alert pedestrians and other road users of your presence.