As days get dark earlier OPP warns pedestrians: wear reflective clothing

Norfolk OPP say a report of vehicles swerving to avoid darkly-dressed pedestrians walking along murky rural roads Monday morning has prompted them to issue a warning to drivers to be extra careful now that daylight hours are shorter.

Be aware of surroundings if driving or walking, Norfolk OPP say

Police remind pedestrians and drivers to follow basic safety rules as days get shorter to avoid collisions with people walking in the dark. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

A close call between a car and pedestrians on a dark rural road Monday morning has prompted police in Norfolk County to remind people to remember basic safety rules about roadside visibility.

Norfolk OPP said a resident called Monday just after 8:30 a.m. concerned about several people walking along the side of the road, dressed in dark clothing.

The person told police they saw vehicles swerve out of the way because they didn't immediately see the people walking along the roadway in the morning hours.

Const. Ed Sanchuk said as the days get shorter, pedestrians need to make sure they're seen.

"We need to make sure that everyone has that concerted effort that they put forward to make sure they're aware of their surroundings at all time," he told CBC News. "And especially if you're out walking, please ensure that you're wearing reflective clothing so the motoring public can – and will – see you."

Avoid driving distractions

Sanchuk said drivers also need to remain vigilant at the wheel now that daylight hours are shorter.

"In all honesty, when you're changing that radio, you're eating that hamburger, you're drinking that coffee, you're focusing on other thoughts," he said.

"It's never easy knocking on someone's door, saying their loved one is deceased as a result of a motor vehicle collision or being struck by a motor vehicle when it can simply be prevented by paying attention."

The warning also comes after 47-year-old Tracey Hoskin-Hartwick of Haldimand County was killed while jogging near Fisherville, south of Cayuga.

On Monday around 7:48 a.m., Hoskin-Hartwick was running along Concession 5 near Kohler Road when a 20-year-old woman driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck lost control and struck her.

Sanchuk said while it was daylight at the time, distracted driving may have played a part in that collision.