Most people think they know how to cross the road, but the province is taking extra measures to ensure more pedestrians follow the rules while navigating busy intersections.
Posted above the crosswalk buttons at a number of provincial intersections in Greater Victoria are signs detailing which actions are permitted during which symbols. Recently, one of these signs popped up in Saanich at the Highway 1 and Saanich Road/Boleskine Road intersection.
Pedestrians can step into the crosswalk only when the “walking figure” is illuminated, and the flashing hand means they have to wait for the next light. The countdown timer indicates how much time is left to finish crossing and applies only to those already in the crosswalk.
The “walk” light might seem brief, and that’s because it is – to prevent pedestrians from being in the crosswalk when the light changes, and to provide time for traffic to make right turns.
According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, these signs are being installed at new traffic signals or during projects or upgrades at pedestrian-heavy intersections.
On average, 2,300 pedestrians are injured every year in B.C., many of them in designated crosswalks.
“Be careful at intersections. Watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic and not see you,” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie of Saanich Police. “Always use crosswalks and follow the pedestrian signs and traffic signals.”
Similar signs have been added to intersections along both the Highway 1 and 17 corridors within Greater Victoria and at other locations across the province.