With all the advancements in technology these days and all the apps at our fingertips, it’s no wonder we have such a hard time putting our mobile devices away, even while walking. Unfortunately, the risk of distraction has increased as well as our risk of being seriously injured. This fall, Preventable is encouraging Vancouver and Victoria residents to put the phone down while they navigate the city.

Using integrated geofencing technology – which sets a virtual boundary around a specific location, allowing targeted messaging to appear on geo-enabled mobile devices within the area – Preventable is ensuring its message reaches pedestrians: “If you’re texting while walking, have a word with yourself.” This initiative directly messages the very people who are on their phones while walking. Our thinking – let’s send them a timely message that won’t go unnoticed and give them something to think about.

Each year in BC, an average of 2,700 pedestrians are injured and 60 killed on our roads and highways, with a staggering 41.5% occurring as a result of traffic signal disobedience. It is imperative for pedestrians to be alert to what is happening around them in order to hear and respond safely and to anticipate the unexpected.

Preventable’s goal is to significantly reduce the number – and severity – of preventable injuries in BC by raising awareness, transforming attitudes, and ultimately changing behaviours. 95% of all injuries are entirely preventable – we’re reminding pedestrians to ‘have a word with themselves,’ and consider the consequences of not taking preventative measures.