Westworld Alberta

Fall 2014

Westworld Alberta

Issue link: http://westworldmagazine.ama.ab.ca/i/365611

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steven p. hughes f a l l 2 0 1 4 | w e s t w o r l d A l b e r t A 41 walkable cities • elements Look Both Ways You're a driver, but you walk, too – learn to see the road from both perspectives to help make the streets a whole lot safer for pedestrians Behind the Wheel • Watch for pedestrians, even outside intersections. Especially seniors and the visually impaired, who can take two to three times longer to cross than younger pedestrians and children, who can be unpredictable. • Yield to foot traffic. When a pedestrian steps onto the street, drivers must yield and wait for that person to cross, all the way to the other side. The fines for failing to do so are steep – $575 in Edmonton, for example. Yet according to Alberta Transportation, around 40 per cent of 2012 vehicle- pedestrian collisions were caused by drivers failing to yield. • Come to a complete stop at crossings. Pedestrians can show they want to cross by raising an arm and pointing at the opposite curb, by approaching a marked crosswalk or by activating a pedestrian-controlled signal light. • Stop two to three car lengths back from a crossing. This way, vehicles and cyclists in other lanes can see pedestrians and stop safely. Never pass another car at a crosswalk. • Stop before the sidewalk when exiting an alley, driveway or parking lot. Stopping on top of the sidewalk forces pedestrians to cross behind or in front of your vehicle. On Your Feet • Don't assume cars will stop. Yes, they're supposed to, but why take the chance? Be sure drivers and cyclists see you – make eye contact. At dusk and at night, wear light-coloured clothing or reflective strips if possible. • Cross at marked crosswalks. Not mid-block and never between parked cars. Jaywalking is illegal; fines will run you up to $60 in Calgary and $250 in Edmonton. • Cross only when traffic has come to a complete stop. Use pedestrian-operated signals, if they're present. While crossing, watch for turning vehicles and scan constantly for traffic. • Keep a clear head. Pedestrian impairment is a problem in Alberta. More than 45 per cent of pedestri- ans in fatal crashes between 2008 and 2012, and 13 per cent in injury crashes, had consumed alcohol. Distractions like cellphones and loud music don't improve safety, either. Pocket your gadgets and remove headphones to be at your most alert when crossing. W Brush up on all of your road rules by taking the AMA Online Practice Exam. ama.ab.ca

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