Walking is the original form of transportation and a natural and continued form of transportation globally. In a growing community like Ottawa we walk for recreation, socially or with purpose to get to one destination from another.
Walking has proven to be mentally and physically beneficial for children and adults alike; however, according to the City of Ottawa, in 2018 alone, pedestrian injuries accounted for more than 350 road injuries and fatalities. In 2019, the Ottawa Police Services reported nine pedestrian fatalities involving a motor vehicle.
Fatalities and injuries to walkers and joggers occur because of a variety of factors, including:
- Motorists failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Pedestrian error
Pedestrians are vulnerable: they are 284 times more likely to be killed or injured in a crash than drivers or passengers in vehicles.
Child Pedestrians are at Higher Risk for Injury
Younger pedestrians, children aged 14 years and younger, continue to be the largest group of victims of pedestrian injuries in Canada. Adults can help ensure kids are aware and alert to the dangers of being a pedestrian in many ways.
- To begin with, adults can discuss the necessary walking safety skills in simple terms that are age-appropriate – talk about what to do before you cross a road.
- Help them determine safe crossing routes and, if you have a young child, hold hands while walking.
- Ensure young pedestrians are familiar and comfortable with related road signs and tools such as pedestrian crossovers, stop signs, traffic lights, etc.
Perhaps most important is that young pedestrians benefit from learning at an early age about road awareness concerns, such as speeding, impaired or distracted drivers so they can grow to be aware pedestrians and, ideally, better and safer drivers.
Child pedestrian injuries and deaths occur in urban areas. However, when a pedestrian is hit on a rural road, the result is more likely to be fatal because of higher vehicle speeds.
WalkSafe Downloadable Teacher Program
In lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have modified our Walksafe content that would have been traditionally delivered to students by an OSC presenter and packaged it as downloadable lesson plans aligned with Ministry of Education curriculum requirements, resources, activity sheets and videos that teachers can deliver in their classrooms until such time as we can resume in-class presentations.
Book a Pedestrian Safety Presentation
Presentations are age-appropriate and equip children with the tools to keep themselves safe while walking, biking, skateboarding or scootering to school. We provide the tools to encourage healthy, active and SAFE living. They are available in both French and English and are interactive, use flash-cards, PowerPoint, props, games, songs and a working model of a traffic light!
Help Support the Ottawa Safety Council
Donations to the Ottawa Safety Council help us to continue building new programming and creating and delivering awareness campaigns to bring road safety advocacy and awareness to everyone in Ottawa, regardless of how they travel.
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