Const. Martin Kortas of the Nanaimo RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit displays one of the armbands which will be handed out at an upcoming pedestrian safety awareness event. (Photo submitted)

Police, ICBC, City of Nanaimo promote pedestrian safety

Nanaimo RCMP, ICBC and City of Nanaimo host pedestrian safety awareness event next week.

Nanaimo RCMP, ICBC and the City of Nanaimo are kicking off the Be Seen, Be Safe pedestrian awareness campaign with a public event in downtown Nanaimo Tuesday, Nov. 7.

With daylight savings starting Sunday, Nov. 5 and hours of daylight slowly slipping away, the Nanaimo police have partnered with the city and the corporation to bring awareness to pedestrian safety.

Each year, pedestrians are hit by vehicles crossing city streets and one of the most significant contributing factors behind these collisions is lack of reflective clothing worn by pedestrians, who need to be seen to be safe.

Reflective arm bands are just one way to keep people safe.

On Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Commercial Street, Victoria Crescent intersection, Nanaimo RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit and Bike Patrol members, along with city employees and ICBC will hand out reflective arm bands to pedestrians and will also take a few minutes to discuss the importance of wearing reflective clothing.

Pedestrians and motorists alike must use extreme caution when approaching crosswalks.

“Pedestrians cannot assume the driver of an approaching vehicle sees them,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “Before entering the crosswalk, they must be satisfied the vehicle is slowing down and the driver sees them. Drivers have a responsibility to yield to pedestrians who are entering a marked crosswalk.

”They also have the onerous task of dealing with pedestrians who, not only have their earbuds in, but who are also distracted and looking down at their phones while in crosswalks. This only complicates the issue, but it is one that motorists must expect and be prepared to react to.”

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