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Stay safe on the road

(Photo courtesy Regional Municipality of Durham)

As daylight becomes shorter and it gets darker earlier this time of year, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are reminded to be vigilant and safe on the road.

With the increase of residents staying home amid COVID-19, more pedestrians and cyclists are out in the community, says the region, noting it’s also getting darker earlier during the prime hours for people to take a walk or cycle.

“Our collision data shows that the highest number of pedestrian and cyclist-involved collisions take place between October and December,” says Durham Region Commissioner of Works Susan Siopis. “It is up to everyone – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists – to stay safe on the road. Be aware of those you share the road with to make sure everyone gets home safely.”

In support of Durham Vision Zero, the region’s long-term plan to ensure a safe transportation system that sees no lives lost or serious injuries on roadways, the region is offering tips to all roadway users to improve safety.

Drivers should pay special attention to crosswalks and the sidewalks leading to an intersection when approaching, even if the driver has a green light, as well as reduce their speed.

According to Parachute Canada, a pedestrian struck by a car travelling at 50 km/h is at least five times more likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck at 30 km/h.

In addition, drivers should ensure their full headlight system is turned on and double-check for pedestrians and cyclists when turning left or right.

Pedestrians should always cross at an intersection and be sure they’re seen by drivers by making eye contact with motorists before attempting to cross a road. Wearing brightly-coloured and reflective clothing can help as well.

Using headphones or a phone while crossing the road should be avoided, as well as making sure traffic has come to a complete stop.

Cyclists are reminded to obey all traffic laws and responsibilities as a driver, to turn on headlamps and taillights at least 30 minutes before sunset, be visible by using and wearing reflective gear and clothing, and be alert and don’t wear headphones when riding.

For more information on Durham’s road safety plan, visit