August 4, 2016 - The Community Traffic Awareness Committee (CTAC) is reminding motorists and pedestrians to keep their Heads Up! and look out for each other when on the road this summer. The slogan “heads up” has been painted on a number of sidewalks throughout Thunder Bay in an effort to encourage drivers and walkers to stay focused on their routes and be distraction-free.
CTAC reports that from January 1 to June 30, 2016 there have been 35 pedestrian related traffic collisions in addition to the 75 reported in 2015.
“In the past year and a half we’ve seen a concerning increase in the number of people getting hit by vehicles. Collision statistics show that when motorists use their smartphones while driving, they are more likely to hit people who are walking,” said Adam Krupper, Mobility Coordinator for the City of Thunder Bay and member of the CTAC.
“But pedestrians also need to be mindful when walking because if their eyes are glued to a screen, it’s hard for them to prevent getting hit by motorists.”
The Heads Up campaign is expected to prompt people to keep their eyes on the road, sidewalk or pathway they are travelling, and encourages ongoing attention to pedestrian safety.
“Now, with the use of apps like Pokémon Go, there is an even greater risk of distraction for walkers,” said Miriah Botsford, public health nurse in injury prevention at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
Botsford is the current chair of the Community Traffic Awareness Committee (CTAC). The committee is a community driven coalition dedicated to initiatives that aim to reduce traffic related injuries and fatalities through awareness, education and enforcement.