Pedestrian safety

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Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable road users. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all need to take steps to maintain pedestrian safety.


  • Drivers must stop and yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians about to cross at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
  • It is illegal to pass traffic ahead of you that is slowing down or stopped for pedestrians using crosswalks.
  • Do not park or stop within three metres of a crosswalk.
  • Be careful to look for pedestrians, especially when turning or about to proceed across a sidewalk.


To help ensure your safety as a pedestrian:

  • Always ensure that all vehicles have stopped and that all drivers can see you before stepping off the curb. Just because one car has stopped does not mean that a car coming from behind or in another lane will stop. The second driver might not have noticed you and might not see you crossing in front of the stopped vehicle.
  • Cross at intersections whenever possible, preferably ones with traffic control signs or signals.
  • Never step out from between parked vehicles to cross a street as drivers may not see you.
  • Look left and right and then left again before stepping out into the street, even when the green light and walking figure signal show you are allowed to cross.
  • Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they’ve seen you and are aware you intend to cross the road.
  • At a pedestrian corridor, extend your arm forward to alert drivers of your intention to cross.
  • Always watch for turning vehicles, as turning drivers are often more focused on vehicles than pedestrians.
  • Cross as quickly as possible to minimize your time on the road. If the walking figure changes to the orange hand before you are across the street, you should keep going. If there is a median, rest there if necessary. Do not start to cross a street when you see the orange hand as there might not be enough time to cross safely.
  • Stop and look for cars where a sidewalk meets the entrance to a parking lot, laneway or driveway.
  • If there is no sidewalk, or the sidewalk is not passable, walk along the left-hand edge of the roadway - facing oncoming traffic – preferably single file or in a group no larger than two.
  • Review this 60 Second Driver video on pedestrian safety

  • Review this 60 Second Driver video on crosswalks and pedestrian corridors.

Be seen

  • Do everything possible to make yourself visible to drivers. At night, use the best lit streets available.
  • Clip on a light or flasher, or wear reflective or light-coloured clothing.
  • In winter, wear brightly-coloured clothing and be careful crossing in front of snow banks, which can prevent a driver from seeing you.

Don’t walk impaired or distracted

  • Impairment from both alcohol and drugs (including some prescription drugs) is a common contributing factor when adult pedestrians are killed on a roadway.
  • Remove headphones and refrain from texting or talking on your phone.

Parking-lot safety

  • Take note of parked or stopped vehicles when a driver is behind the wheel as the driver could move the vehicle suddenly.
  • Watch for brake, reverse and running lights on vehicles so you can assess what a driver might do next.
  • Look ahead and around you at all times for vehicles travelling outside of normal laneways, such as across parking lot stalls.


Young children are very vulnerable road users and need help from parents to prevent them from being struck by a vehicle.

Additional safety tips:

  • Keep young children away from roadways. Insist they never cross the street without holding your hand.
  • Set boundaries for small children – show them where they can play safely and how far they are allowed to go.
  • As children grow older, they need to learn how to cross the street safely. Go for walks with them to demonstrate and explain the correct way to cross.
  • Teach children to stop and look for vehicles left and right and left again before stepping into the street to cross. To make sure that turning their heads is not just an action they are copying, ask them what they see when they do that.
  • Children need to watch for vehicles turning left as they are looking left-right and left.

Older pedestrians

Older pedestrians are at the highest risk of being killed or seriously injured in a collision with a motor vehicle. Conditions that contribute to this higher risk may include limited vision and hearing, slower reaction time and reduced walking speed.

Additional safety tips:

  • If your walking speed is slow, give yourself time to cross and avoid walking on high-traffic streets. Use a pedestrian button if one is available and consider waiting for a new green light or walking figure signal to give you the maximum amount of time to cross safely. If necessary, rest on the median until the next light cycle.
  • If your hearing is poor, compensate by spending more time looking for vehicles around you and watch for drivers approaching from behind.
  • If you are unsteady on your feet, wear proper footwear and use a walking stick if necessary. Be extra cautious navigating curbs, inclines and other hazards. In winter, avoid walking when conditions are icy and treacherous.


Skate legal

When you’re on skates, you must obey the same traffic regulations as any wheeled vehicle. In Winnipeg, it’s legal to skate on sidewalks, bicycle paths and designated roadways in City of Winnipeg parks. It is also legal to skate on roadways designated as bicycle routes when vehicle traffic is restricted, but keep in mind that cars are still allowed on these roads.

Skate smart

Always wear protective gear that is in good condition, including a helmet, wrist guards and knee/elbow pads. Master the basic skating techniques.

Skate alert

Watch for road hazards and avoid water, oil, sand and traffic.

Skate courteous

Skate on the right and pass on the left. Announce, “passing on your left” as you get closer and always yield to pedestrians.