Could flags be Vancouver's answer to better pedestrian safety?

Dec 19 2017, 8:06 pm

We’re less than six weeks into 2016, and Vancouver has already seen two pedestrians die at the hands of motorists. Another pedestrian collision in Surrey on February 4 prompted the RCMP to call for vigilance from both drivers and people utilizing crosswalks.


Today, the district of West Vancouver has launched a new pilot program that aims to improve pedestrian safety – but the onus remains on those crossing the street.

Yellow flags and holders have been installed at either side of the crosswalk at Mathers Avenue and Thompson Crescent near West Bay Elementary school. The municipality claims other communities have successfully utilized crosswalk flags to improve visibility and safety of pedestrians, prompting them to launch this pilot program.

Here’s how it works:

  • Take a flag from the holder
  • Raise the flag toward the street out in front of you or above you
  • Wait for traffic to stop, then cross the street holding the flag
  • Deposit the flag in the holder on the other side of the street

The district of West Vancouver notes flag use is voluntary – it is not a requirement. They also note that the pilot program will only be successful if flags are replaced in their proper holders after use.

Depending on how it goes, crosswalk flags may be utilized in other pedestrian crossings.

People have taken to Twitter to express their opinions on the pilot program.