Pedestrians need to recognize that they can be hard for drivers to see even in crosswalks. Be careful out there. photo by Jim Cornelius
Drivers in Sisters Country are urged to be alert for pedestrians - of both the two-legged and the four-legged variety - as early winter darkness descends over the region.
Twilight comes early at this time of year, and that mixes with shoppers rushing home with their treasures to create a potentially dangerous situation. It is often difficult to discern a pedestrian even in a crosswalk when it starts to get dark, and there have been incidents in the past of pedestrians being hit as they crossed Cascade Avenue at night.
Residential streets can be even darker, with no streetlights. Last Friday, a man was killed in front of his residence on Cline Falls Highway, apparently hit by a pickup truck as he knelt to pick up dropped mail in the roadway (see related story, page 7).
While pedestrians have the right-of-way, it is wise for those on foot to be especially cautious this time of year. Don't assume that because you see a car coming that the driver can see you. If you are wearing dark clothing, you may be all but invisible, even under streetlights.
Carry a flashlight and deploy it if you're going to be out at twilight or later, and stay alert to your surroundings. Distracted walking can be almost as dangerous as distracted driving.
Sisters' large population of deer are still moving around at twilight and they are particularly hard to see as darkness falls. Drivers should stay alert and above all slow down to give themselves plenty of stopping distance. The need to slow down becomes even more acute in rain or snow conditions, where visibility is further diminished and streets and roadways are wet and potentially slick.