On January 1, 2016, new rules pertaining to pedestrian crossovers and school crossings came into being, but with the new rules came confusion and questions.
When should you stop and allow a pedestrian to fully cross the road before moving forward?
The answer is at pedestrian crossovers that have the flashing lights overhead. At school crossings – the yellow walking signs. At any crossing, including intersection crossings, that are manned by a school crossing guard and the new pedestrian crossings that will be installed at roundabouts.
Only when pedestrians and school crossing guards are safely on the sidewalk are you permitted to proceed.
Who should stop?
These new rules include cyclists as well as drivers. Cyclists cannot proceed until the pedestrian has safely made it onto the sidewalk.
The fine for disobeying the new rules is between $150.00 and $500.00 and three demerit points. Fines are doubled if the offence occurs in Community Safety Zones.
What can pedestrians do to help keep themselves safe?
According to the Ministry of Transportation website, here are some guidelines and suggestions.
Cross only at marked crosswalks or traffic lights.
Make sure drivers can see you before you cross. Make eye contact with the drivers.
Wear bright or light coloured clothing or reflective strips especially at dusk and night.
At a traffic light:
• Cross when traffic has come to a complete stop.
• Begin to cross at the start of a green light or walk signal.
• Do not start to cross if “do not walk” sign is flashing or the light turns yellow.
• Never cross on a red light.
Always look for pedestrians, especially when turning.
Watch for children and drive slowly through residential areas, park areas and school areas.
Be patient, especially with seniors or pedestrians with disabilities.
Drive carefully near bus stops.
Pass buses with extreme caution and only where safe to do so.
More information can be found at the Ministry of Transportation Website including illustrations of which crosswalks and crossovers apply to the new rules as well as those that the rule does not apply. They can be found under the frequently asked questions section.