ICBC and police say pedestrian safety a serious concern this fall as visibility worsens
October 11, 2023
Today, ICBC and police are launching a pedestrian safety campaign in response to the sharp increase in pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the road at this time of year.
Nearly half (43%) of crashes involving pedestrians happen between October and January as visibility and weather worsen in B.C.* Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way are the top contributing factors for drivers in pedestrian related crashes.
ICBC and police are asking drivers to reduce their speed when pedestrians are present, be ready to stop for pedestrians, and focus on the road.
ICBC and volunteers will be handing out safety reflectors throughout B.C. to help increase visibility of pedestrians for drivers.
Todd Preston, President of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police
"We all need to do our part to improve pedestrian safety on our roads this fall. The days are getting shorter which means pedestrians will be navigating roads in the dark. When driving, please take extra time to look for pedestrians, especially at intersections. As a pedestrian, use designated crosswalks, make eye contact with drivers and wear light colours and reflectors."
Shabnem Afzal, ICBC's director of road safety
“Remember, we're all pedestrians at some point. Every single pedestrian crash can be avoided. It's simple – small changes in how you drive make a big impact. Slow down when pedestrians are present, make sure to yield the right-of-way for them, and always avoid distractions. Let's make our roads safer together."
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
“As the seasons change, it's essential for drivers to adapt to reduced visibility. Increased rain, fog, or snow can make it more difficult to see pedestrians. This is a time when we should all slow down, stay alert, and ensure our headlights and windshield wipers are functioning properly. For pedestrians, it's important to wear reflective clothing, use crosswalks, and remain extra cautious when crossing streets."
In B.C., on average, 53 pedestrians are killed and more than 2,300 injured in crashes each year.
In the Lower Mainland, on average, 1,434 pedestrians are injured in 2,029 crashes every year.
On Vancouver Island, on average, 239 pedestrians are injured in 335 crashes every year.
In the Southern Interior, on average, 158 pedestrians are injured in 216 crashes every year.
In the North Central region, on average, 61 pedestrians are injured in 74 crashes every year.
Editor's note: Pedestrian involved crash statistics for B.C. communities are available on icbc.com.
*An average of 1,398 crashes involving pedestrians happen between October to January, compared to 1,865 from February to September.
**ICBC data based on five-year average from 2018 to 2022. Fatality data and contributing factors based on police data five-year average from 2018 to 2022. Crash data from 2020 and 2021 may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.