Hamilton reminds drivers to be alert as Daylight Savings Time ends (and fog descends)


Published November 3, 2022 at 1:43 pm

Hamiltonians get that extra hour of sleep this weekend, but that means months of driving and bicycling in darkness during early-morning and evening commutes are coming.

The City of Hamilton, partnering with Hamilton Police, has launched a public education campaign to remind motorists and all roadway users to stay alert as the end of Daylight Saving Time looms. On avearge in Hamilton, there is a more than 60-per-cent increase in collisions where pedestrians are struck during evening commute hours between November and March in comparison to April-October. That data is taken from the city’s annual collision report, which is usually presented in the summer.

“This new education campaign reminds motorists of the risks associated with not paying close attention to other road users, especially as darker commutes approach, which impacts visibility, reaction time and more,” states Mike Field, who is the City of Hamilton’s acting director of transportation operations and maintenance. “Slowing down and approaching all intersections and crosswalks with caution will significantly reduce the chance of an avoidable collision.”

The clocks will ‘fall back’ at 2 a.m. on Sunday (Nov. 6). But Hamilton drivers have already had some practice with reduced visbility due to  dense fog in the city at times this week. Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued multiple fog advisories this week, including one on Halloween night on Monday, when trick-or-treaters were outdoors.

The city’s road safety tips for motorists include:

  • When approaching a crosswalk or intersection, pay close attention for pedestrians and cyclists before making a turn. Reduced visibility affects reaction time and depth perception.
  • Obeying the speed limit and as the winter season approaches, adjusting your speed according to weather conditions.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you’re going and plan your route.

Pedestrians are also advised, “Remember that motorists will have difficulty seeing you. Before crossing the street, make eye contact with drivers to ensure they are aware of your intention to cross.”

Hamilton has had 10-year highs in traffic deaths in each of the last two years. The release from the public education camapign included a recognition “that policies, roadway designs, speed enforcement strategies and educational initiatives are crucial contributors to reducing the chance of collision and preventing severe injury or fatality as a result of a collision.”

In each of the last two calendar years, the daylight savings months had double the number of pedestrian collisions compared to the non-daylight saving months:

  • 2021: 25 (daylight savings), 10 (non-daylight savings)
  • 2020: 24 (daylight savings, 11 (non-daylight savings)
  • 2019: 21 (daylight savings), 18 (non-daylight saving months.

Further resources are available at hamilton.ca/VisionZero and hamilton.ca/winterdriving.

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