Road Safety

Pedestrian Safety

From 2009 to 2013, pedestrians accounted for approximately 10 per cent of all roadway fatalities in Manitoba. On average, 9 pedestrians were killed each year in collisions. An additional 230 pedestrians were injured, 20 of them seriously.

Source: Traffic Collision Statistics Report 2014

Stay safe on our roadways

Use caution when crossing the street

  • Cross at intersections whenever possible, preferably ones with traffic control signs or signals.
  • Never step out from between parked vehicles to cross a street—drivers aren’t expecting you to be there.

Cross intersections defensively

  • 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 to your intention to cross.
  • Make sure 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.
  • Always watch for turning vehicles—turning drivers are often more focused on vehicles than pedestrians.
  • Cross as quickly as possible to minimize your time in 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.

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. A reflective band or tape worn around the arm or ankle can make you visible to a driver at 200 metres (instead of the usual 45 metres).
  • In winter, wear brightly-coloured clothing and be careful crossing in front of snow banks, which can prevent a driver from seeing you.

Never walk impaired

  • Impairment from both alcohol and drugs (including some prescription drugs) is a common contributing factor when adult pedestrians are killed on a roadway.

Avoid distractions at an intersection

  • Remove headphones for music or radio devices.
  • Refrain from texting or talking on your phone.

Take extra care in parking lots

  • 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.
  • In winter, watch for exhaust vapour –a clue a vehicle is running nearby and could be about to move.

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Additional tips for children

Young children are the most vulnerable road users and need your help to prevent them from being struck by a vehicle.

  • Hold small children by the hand when crossing.
  • Set boundaries for small children—show them where they can play safely and how far they are allowed to go. Enforce your rules.
  • Teach children the rules of the road.
  • As children grow older, teach them how to cross the street safely. Go for a walk with them to demonstrate and explain the correct way to cross. Children will imitate your actions, so set a good example.
  • 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. This will help you determine if they truly understand what they should be looking for.
  • Remind children to watch for vehicles turning left as they are looking left-right and left. Teach them to wait until the vehicle stops before venturing into the street.

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Additional tips for older pedestrians

Older pedestrians are at the highest risk of being killed or seriously injured in a collision with a motor vehicle. From 2006 to 2010, 27 per cent of pedestrians killed in Manitoba were age 65 or older.

Conditions that contribute to this higher risk may include limited vision and hearing, slower reaction time and reduced walking speed. Walking is a great way to improve physical fitness, health and general well-being, but stay safe by following these tips.

If your normal walking speed is slow

  • Give yourself lots of time to cross.
  • 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.
  • Avoid walking in rush-hour traffic or on the busiest streets, if you can.

If your hearing is poor

  • Compensate by spending more time looking for vehicles all around you.
  • Watch for drivers approaching from behind and remember that hybrid-electric vehicles are much quieter than other vehicles, particularly when stopped at intersections.

If you are unsteady on your feet

  • Wear good shoes, use a walking stick if necessary and be extra cautious navigating curbs, inclines and other hazards.
  • In winter, avoid walking when sidewalks are treacherous.

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