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Ask the Expert Pedestrian Safety

My children are going back to school and I want them to know the rules of the road. What should I teach them about being a pedestrian?

Gerry Shimko, chair of the Capital Region Intersection Safety Partnership (CRISP) says:

First, it’s important for all road users to remember that safety is a shared responsibility between both pedestrians and motorists.

Teach your children to make eye contact with the motorist so the driver knows what the pedestrian is doing. It’s a critical piece that is often missed; you don’t have the right of way until it is given to you. Just because you’re a pedestrian, doesn’t mean you can walk into the middle of the road.

Keep it simple by teaching your kids the three Ps: point, pause, proceed. Pedestrians should point to indicate they are ready to cross the street. Pause to ensure motorists are stopped and then proceed. Kids should also use caution when listening to music from headphones or sending text messages while crossing the street. Their full attention should be on the road at all times.

As we head into the fall and winter months with fewer daytime light hours, it’s important to wear clothing with reflective properties. Wearing dark clothing with no reflective pieces can increase the risk of being hit. In 2007, Edmonton had 13 pedestrian fatalities.

Lastly, teach your children that it’s important to cross in marked crosswalks. Do not jaywalk.

Ask the Expert_Pedestrian Safety (PDF)



CRISP partners share resources and expertise to implement on-going, collaborative and integrated intersection safety research and initiatives to reduce the frequency and severity of intersection collisions in Alberta’s Capital Region. Initiatives are evidence-based and integrate best practices in the areas of education, engineering and enforcement followed by evaluation of results, and target four priorities: red light violations, pedestrian safety, speed and high crash locations.

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