To kick off the new year, the Alberta RCMP is promoting intersection safety. Often busy, high-traffic areas, intersections require motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to exercise caution and be mindful of the rules of the road.
According to the Government of Alberta, an average of 66 people die at intersections in Alberta every year and another 8,000 people are injured. Unsafe left turns, speeding, and violating traffic signals can all result in intersection accidents. Together, we can avoid these common errors and reduce the risk of collisions.
- Obey traffic signs and signals. Make a full stop at red lights and stop signs, even when turning right. Always follow directions given by police officers over traffic signs or signals (Government of Alberta, 2020).
- Pedestrians have the right of way in all marked or unmarked crosswalks. Before making a turn, ensure pedestrians have cleared the crosswalk.
- At a three and four-way stops, remember the Right of Way rule. The vehicle that arrived first should proceed first. If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right should proceed first (Government of Alberta, 2020).
- Always use crosswalks and pedestrian-activated signals when they are available. If there are no crossing lights, wait until all vehicles have come to a complete stop before crossing (MyHealth.Alberta.ca, 2020).
- Don't be a distracted pedestrian. Remove headphones and put away cell phones or other electronic devices when crossing the street.
- Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you. Signalling your intent to cross by extending your arm and pointing in the direction you wish to proceed shows drivers that you intend to enter a crosswalk (Saferoads Alberta, 2020).
"With road users travelling in conflicting directions, there is an increased risk for accidents at intersections," says Supt. Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. "Practising traffic safety, and approaching intersections with caution, can prevent collisions and injury."
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