A typical West Coast winter seems an easy way of getting through the season, compared to the rest of the country.
Instead of freezing and slipping and sliding, motorists in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, most of the time, just have to deal with rainy streets.
But there in lies the hazard that can be just as dangerous as extreme winter driving.
Pitch-black nights and wet roads create nightmarish scenarios for both motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Water on the road at night just seems to absorb light. Towering trees can block street lights and further erode any ambient light, turning people without any kind of light-coloured clothing or reflective material into invisible figures that can suddenly appear before a motorist.
Compounding the problem is that most motorists don’t even realize the degree to which visibility is impaired under such conditions. It’s a scary scenario to have speeding traffic on rain-slicked, dark streets mixed with pedestrians and cyclists, none of whom seem to realize the real dangers.
So it’s a good thing the police and ICBC are raising the topic by handing out free reflectors this week, pointing out that 43 per cent of all pedestrian-related motor vehicle accidents happen between October and January.
Pedestrians should realize that wearing all black clothing and carrying a black umbrella, isn’t that safe. If fashion so dictates, some kind of white or reflective material has to be included.
More importantly, motorists should realize, they have to scour every block they drive for the hazards that lurk in the night.
– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News