The amount of pedestrian deaths in Ontario this year is alarming, according to our local OPP detachments. Thirty people have been killed so far in 2016, which is almost 70 per cent more than last year, and the highest it’s been in eight years.

OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt says a lot of people might think the spike is because of Daylight Savings, or because of the winter season. But, he says over 65 per cent of the fatalities happened in daylight conditions, and only seven per cent happened in the dark. The rest occurred at either dawn or dusk.

Schmidt says both drivers and pedestrians are distracted, which is a contributing factor to the alarming numbers. He says drivers have a responsibility to keep their eyes open and drive safely. But, he says the onus also falls on pedestrians. He says to always cross at appropriate crosswalks, and to keep your head up and make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.

Other safety tips from Schmidt include wearing light or reflective clothing while out walking after dark. He also notes taking your headphones out so you can hear the traffic is key. Finally, he says when possible, bring a light when out after dark. He says the police see headlamps or lights on shoes that can go a long way to keep pedestrians safe.