Early sunsets prompt seasonal road safety warning in Vernon

With the sun setting earlier, it can be harder to see what’s in front of you on the road.

Officials in the North Okanagan are hoping an education campaign, warning drivers to be vigilant and pedestrians to stay visible, can help prevent some of the crashes we often see at this time of year.

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The road safety warning comes one day after a Vernon teen was hit by a vehicle in a crosswalk.

Surge in GTA pedestrian collisions creates concern as Halloween looms
Surge in GTA pedestrian collisions creates concern as Halloween looms
“At this time of year we see crashes with pedestrians going up and it’s because the weather is changing, it is getting dark earlier, people change into their [darker] winter clothing,” said Christine Kriby, ICBC’s road safety and community coordinator.

In fact, ICBC says when it comes to collisions where pedestrians are hurt, more than 40 per cent occur at this time of year in the four months between October and January.

Officials are trying to help pedestrians stay visible by handing out reflective tags and urging all road users to pay attention to what they are doing.

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The safety warning comes a day after a 14-year-old who was in a marked crosswalk was hit by a vehicle turning onto Allenby Way in Vernon on Tuesday afternoon.

While the teen’s injuries were minor and they have been released from hospital, some collisions end far more tragically.

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“If you look at a vehicle hitting a pedestrian, the pedestrian is not going to do very well whether the vehicle is going slow or not,” said Kirby.

Kriby said it is important to be proactive and avoid those close calls.