Police focus on pedestrian safety

ICBC says crashes up 76 per cent in fall/winter

Abbotsford Police Department

Abbotsford Police Department

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) is handing out free pedestrian reflectors to local residents in conjunction with a new ICBC education campaign.

ICBC has launched the pedestrian safety campaign because the number of crashes involving pedestrians increases significantly during the fall and winter, according to a press release.

ICBC says that, on average, 76 per cent more pedestrians are injured in crashes from November to January every year – when conditions are dark and weather is poor – compared to June to August.

The agency says the top contributing factors for drivers in crashes involving pedestrians are: distraction, failure to yield the right of way, and weather.

In B.C., on average, 58 pedestrians are killed and 2,400 are injured in crashes every year, according to ICBC. Those numbers for the Lower Mainland are 33 and 1,700.

So far this year in Abbotsford, there have been 39 pedestrian-related collisions and one fatality.

The most recent crash occurred on Tuesday morning, when an 18-year-old Abbotsford boy struck by a car while using a crosswalk in the area of Old Yale and Maclure roads.

The teen was airlifted to hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

ICBC says the majority of pedestrian-related crashes happen at intersections.

As part of the campaign, ICBC suggests that pedestrians make themselves more visible to drivers by wearing reflective clothing or gear.

The agency is making pedestrian safety reflectors available throughout the province.

In Abbotsford, the reflectors are available at the APD’s main building at 2838 Justice Way and the community police office at 34194 Marshall Rd.