Pedestrian deaths heighten the importance of road safety

In the wake of two pedestrians killed recently in Winnipeg, Manitoba Public Insurance and the Winnipeg Police Service are calling on all motorists and pedestrians to be road-safety minded.

“On average, 14 pedestrians are fatally injured in motor vehicle collisions annually in Manitoba and the tragic events of this week highlight the importance of pedestrian safety,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications and chief product officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.

Nearly 50 per cent of all fatal pedestrian incidents occur when the pedestrian is crossing at an intersection, according to Manitoba Public Insurance claims data.

“Traffic safety is a two way street. Pedestrians and motorists must respect each other’s presence on the roadway,” said Staff Sgt. Rob Riffel of the Winnipeg Police Service. “Being aware of your surroundings is critical for everyone’s safety.”

Safety tips for pedestrians:

  • Cross intersections defensively. Always watch for turning vehicles. You have the legal right to be there, but that doesn’t protect you from the carelessness of some motorists.
  • When crossing the street, regardless of the availability of signals, cross as quickly as possible. Minimize your time in the roadway.
  • No matter what age you are, it is important to stop at the curb and look left, right and left again before stepping into the street, even when the light is green and the signal indicates to walk.

Safety tips for motorists:

  • Approach intersections with caution and scan carefully to look out for pedestrians.
  • Make sure your windshield is clean inside and out as night-time glare can make visibility difficult. Visibility can be drastically reduced due to dirt on the inside of a windshield too. When confronted with oncoming headlights, dirt on the inside will have the same effect as fog or frost.
  • Slow down when it is raining – when it’s dark and wet it’s even harder to see pedestrians. Driving slower will give you more time to see them.

Additional information about pedestrian safety can be found on MPI’s website:

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