May 15 - 21 is National Road Safety Week in Canada, and it's a great time to reflect as a community on road safety, especially in high-traffic areas for children. The national campaign is aimed at raising awareness and education across Canada on the importance of safe driving, and this year's campaign puts a focus on reduced speeding.
Tony Churchill, Leader of Traffic Safety at Roads, says speeding, even a little, can greatly reduce safety for you, your passengers, and others outside your vehicle.
“Some drivers believe it’s okay to speed a little – that as long as they aren’t speeding more than 5-10 km/h over the limit, they will be safe,” says Churchill. “But the data shows this is not true. Driving just 10 km/h over the limit can impact your reaction time and increase the risk of collision as much as driving impaired by alcohol at the legal limit.” [City of Calgary]
Here are some safety tips for both motorists and pedestrians:
- It is the law to stop for all pedestrians at crosswalks
- Ensure your windshield and headlights are clean for visibility
- It's the law not to pass vehicles at crosswalks
- Don't park within five metres of a marked crosswalk or intersection
- Never pass vehicles at a crosswalk
- As a pedestrian, never jaywalk between intersections or go against the walking signals
- Always be on the lookout for pedestrians when driving
- Be courteous as a pedestrian and motorist
- Reduce your speed when driving, and pay attention to marked signs in playground or school zones.
According to Road Safety Vision 2010, 17% of all road users killed annually were traveling at excessive speeds. Calgary-specific data shows that excessive speeding was a factor in an average of 13% of casualty collisions over a 5-years span. [City of Calgary]