Throughout July, the Nova Scotia RCMP Traffic Services Unit is focusing its attention on vulnerable road users – individuals who operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt bikes, street motorcycles and bicycles, as well as pedestrians.
Over the past six years, the RCMP responded to over 60 serious incident and/or fatal motor vehicle collisions involving ATVs and dirt bikes on Nova Scotia roads. These do not include accidents that occurred off-road or on private property. Of these 60 collisions, 25 were alcohol-related.
Therefore, when operating motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATVs, or bicycles, riders should:
· Ensure the vehicle is in proper working order.
· Always wear a helmet.
· Wear protective clothing, such as gloves, a jacket, long pants and boots.
· Always obey the rules of the road.
· Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially when crossing roads and intersections.
· Never consume alcohol or drugs prior to riding.
Pedestrians can also use the following tips to avoid dangerous situations when sharing the road:
· Always walk on a side walk (if possible).
· Walk facing oncoming traffic.
· Always cross the street in marked crosswalks and never jaywalk.
· Make eye contact with motorists before leaving the curb crossing a street.
· Avoid using a mobile phone or music device while walking in busy areas.
· Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially at nighttime.
Finally, motorists should always be on the lookout for vulnerable road users and be prepared to yield, even if they have the right-of-way. Motorists should also pay attention to younger children playing near streets, and be prepared when and if vulnerable road users appear unexpectedly on roads and at intersections.