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Be attentive

We have long cautioned Flamborough drivers to be aware when they are behind the wheel – don’t drink and drive, don’t be a distracted driver, curb your aggressiveness etc.

But it’s also important for local pedestrians – and that includes joggers, baby buggy pushers and dog walkers – to keep their heads up and watch where they are going.

That’s the message Ontario Medical Association president, Dr. Doug Weir, and Hal Johnson from Body Break are trying to drive home with the launch of Strut Safely, a campaign that urges pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and to stay alert.

“Pedestrian safety seems like common sense, but we’ve all been guilty of being inattentive or distracted when walking or crossing a street at one time or another,” said Weir.

“It’s easy to be distracted by any number of devices when walking and crossing the street. Body break and Ontario’s doctors have teamed up to help encourage pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and to strut safely,” added Johnson.

With November and December being the darkest months of the year, it’s a timely message.

The number of pedestrian fatalities in the province is alarming with approximately 100 pedestrians killed  annually across Ontario when walking and crossing the street.

According to the Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, 55 per cent of pedestrian accidents happen after dark. The same report goes on to reveal that 20 per cent of pedestrians killed in incidents are inattentive or distracted by cellphones, MP3 players or other devices.

Ontario’s doctors are providing some helpful tips and encouraging people to do the following while they are out and about this winter:

• Put your cellphones away when walking and crossing the streets;

• Use one ear bud when listening to music so you can still hear bells, horns and other pedestrians;

• Wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing so you are visible when it is dark.

“Remember to be alert and strut safely,” urged Weir.

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