Walking safely and responsibly
The City is committed to making walking easier and safer.
Through the City’s partnership with the VPD, ICBC, and Vancouver Coastal Health, pedestrian safety continues to improve in Vancouver, with the number of pedestrian crashes and fatalities declining.
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.
Know your pedestrian crossing signs
Pedestrian crossing signal
- Walking pedestrian: This light means cross the street if it is safe to do so within the painted crosswalk lines
- Flashing hand: The flashing amber hand warns that it's too late to begin crossing if you haven't yet started. Wait until the walking pedestrian light is shown before crossing the street
- Steady hand: A steady hand means don't cross the street. Wait until the walking pedestrian light is displayed before crossing
- Countdown timer: In some intersections, you will see a countdown timer next to the above signals. The numbers begin counting down while the flashing hand appears. If you have not yet entered the intersection, do not attempt to beat the clock.
- 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