People crossing at a crosswalk

Walking safety

We're committed to making walking easier and safer

Pedestrian safety in Vancouver keeps improving, with fewer pedestrian crashes and fatalities, due to our efforts with Vancouver Police Department, ICBC, and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Flashing beacons to enhance crosswalk safety

We are testing rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) at three crosswalks in the City:

  1. Victoria Drive and Grant Street
  2. West Boulevard and 42nd Avenue
  3. Elliot Street and Waverly Avenue

When you cross the street at these locations, press the button to turn on the high-intensity light and let people driving or cycling know you’re crossing.

Flashing beacons are suited where many people cross the road, drivers rarely stop, and a pedestrian signal isn’t essential.

Watch a video about how the beacons work.


2012 Pedestrian Safety Study

In 2012, the City completed its first-ever pedestrian safety study. Since then, the majority of priority locations highlighted in the report have received engineering improvements and safety measures such as countdown timers, LED lighting, left turn changes, and slower walk speeds. Work on all 44 locations is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

Walking safety tips

  • Always cross the street at an intersection, not at the middle of a block. Jaywalking is illegal, and you can be fined under Section 12 of Vancouver's Street and Traffic Bylaw 2849. Watch the video at the top of this page to learn more.  
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals at intersections
  • If there aren’t any pedestrian crossing lights, wait until it is safe to cross
  • Always check that the intersection is clear and that drivers and cyclists see you before stepping onto the crosswalk or road. Make eye contact with other road users and wait for cars to stop
  • Watch for drivers making unexpected moves
  • Assume drivers can’t see you. Even cars that appear to be slowing down may not stop
  • Make yourself visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Consider carrying a flashlight or flashing red light at night
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Remove your headphones, put away your cell phone, Blackberry, iPod, MP3 player, or other distractions when crossing the street

Get more safety tips from ICBC External website

Crossing signals

Pedestrian safety traffic signal

Pedestrian crossing signal

The walking pedestrian light means cross the street within the painted crosswalk lines if it is safe.

The flashing hand means it's too late to crossing if you haven't already started so wait until the next walking pedestrian light.

The steady hand means don't cross and wait until the next walking pedestrian light.

Pedestrian safety countdown timer

Countdown timer

The countdown timer may appear next to the signals above, depending on the intersection. When you see the flashing hand and countdown, it's too late to cross if you haven't already so wait until the next walking pedestrian light. 

Be seen, be safe

By City of Vancouver

Click on the arrow to learn how to make yourself visible while walking, biking, rolling, or driving.

  • Lights

    By City of Vancouver

    Wear a light around your neck or attach it to your bag. Use a headlamp or find a light for walking dogs, which often come with a clip. Make it fun with coloured lights!

  • Reflectors

    By City of Vancouver

    To be seen from all sides, attach reflectors to your tires, wheels, and bike frames. Iron or sew reflectors to your clothing.

  • Stickers

    By City of Vancouver

    Use reflective stickers to decorate your helmets, bike frames, clothing, bags, and umbrellas.

  • Vehicle headlights

    By City of Vancouver

    Make sure your headlights are on. Drive slower when visibility is poor.

Transportation safety

Vancouver's transportation safety action plan has a goal to move towards zero traffic related fatalities.

Learn more about our plan

Help keep streets safe

Report street light issues

Report traffic or pedestrian signal issues

Use this VanConnect form to request traffic or pedestrian signal changes, additions, and repairs.

Report traffic or pedestrian signal issues