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Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

From the City of Ottawa

FS_5Sept2023_Back to school safety_EN
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  • Our roads are busy in September as many return to work from summer break, and school is back in session. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of (hopefully!) some agreeable weather, by cycling or walking.

  • Meanwhile construction activity is still in full swing. Pedestrians, cyclists, and heavy truck drivers must remain extra vigilant of each other, including staying back and leaving a wide berth. Pedestrians and cyclists beware: when you are beside a heavy truck at an intersection, you may be in a blind spot where they cannot see you through their mirrors. If the driver makes a right turn, the truck may turn right into you. Always stay behind heavy vehicles.

  • Fatal and major injury collisions occur at a higher rate in September than most other months.

  • About 25% of all fatal and major injury collisions on Ottawa’s roads involve pedestrians. Data collected between 2017 and 2021 indicates:

    • 29% occurred when a pedestrian was crossing a road midblock (away from an intersection)

    • 23% occurred when a pedestrian with the right-of-way was struck at an intersection by a left turning driver

    • 11% occurred when a pedestrian who did not have the right-of-way was struck by a vehicle travelling straight through an intersection

  • About 10% of all fatal and major injury collisions on Ottawa’s roads involve cyclists and e-bike riders. Data collected between 2017 and 2021 indicates:

    • 31% were angle collisions at intersections or private drives where the front of one vehicle hits the side of the other, but neither were in the act of turning

    • 20% were left turn collisions

      • half involved a motorist turning left in front of a cyclist

      • half involved a cyclist turning left in front of a motor vehicle

    • 14% were sideswipe collisions (includes a dooring collisions)

  • Drivers must always remember to:

    • Look in all directions for pedestrians and cyclists before completing a right or left turn at intersections.

    • Make a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights.

    • Always check both sides of the street at pedestrian crossovers and yield to pedestrians waiting to cross – they have the right of way.

    • Check your blind spots for cyclists before changing lanes, and before opening your door when parked on street.

  • Pedestrians are reminded to wait for the walk signal to cross at signalized intersections and make eye contact with nearby drivers when crossing at any crosswalk.

  • Cyclists are reminded to:

    • Wait for the green signal at signalized intersections and stop at all stop signs and red lights.

    • Stay back when sharing the lane with vehicles ahead indicating they will be completing a right-hand turn.

    • Remain extra vigilant at intersections; avoid pedestrian spaces and ensure an adequate gap in traffic to complete left hand turns.

  • No matter how you choose to get around, please be respectful of all other road users. Our roads are for all.

  • To learn more about the City’s Road Safety Action Plan, and the many initiatives underway this year to increase safety for all road users, please visit Road Safety Action Plan | City of Ottawa


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