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Look and look again - driver awareness at intersections



How many people can you spot in this image?

If you find it difficult to spot the people in this image, imagine how much harder it is when you're in a moving vehicle. There's a lot going on when you're driving, especially at crosswalks and intersections.

More than 350 pedestrians are struck by vehicles each year in Calgary; 26 per cent of them happen downtown.

Driver awareness at intersections

Driving downtown during peak traffic times can be hectic, even for the best drivers. Between your cell phone ringing, the GPS recalculating and your boss calling, there’s always a lot going on. And that’s just inside your car.

Outside, commuters on foot, on bike and in other vehicles come in and out of view. Traffic lights change, horns honk and everyone’s in a hurry to get somewhere. Just like you.

You can cut through the chaos if you simply look and look again before you make that turn or cross an intersection.

Also, remember that one-way streets for vehicles are still two-way for pedestrians so again, look and look again both ways before going through that intersection.

Other best practices for intersection safety:

  • Wait until pedestrians have cleared the intersection before proceeding.
  • Proceed slowly and be ready to yield to pedestrians
  • Keep your windshield clean so you have a full, clear view.
  • Watch your blind spots for “hidden” pedestrians.
  • Turn off mobile devices and focus on driving

Find more traffic safety tips here.

We’re doing our part, too, to make sharing our roadways safer for everyone, throughout the city.

  • Adding 75 new Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons to alert drivers to crosswalks.
  • Building new pedestrian links around transit lines.
  • Reconfiguring traffic light timing to give pedestrians more time to cross.
  • Promoting safe walking and cycling practices among pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Providing safe driving seminars to companies looking to enhance their employee safety programs (Calgary Police Service).

These efforts and more are guided by The City’s Safer Mobility Plan, an evidence-based safety management strategy that promotes coordination between the five Es of transportation safety:

  • Engage stakeholders in the safety management process.
  • Engineer according to best practices to prevent or reduce the severity of collisions.
  • Educate users to make the best choices and understand the risks of non-compliant actions.
  • Enforce laws and bylaws to discourage dangerous behaviours and reduce violations.
  • Evaluate all activities to assess effectiveness and help to guide future investment.