Cross the street as if your life depends on it, that’s the message police were intent on delivering as part of a pedestrian safety initiative at 41 Division during March Break.
“This is an enforcement and education campaign, we are trying to get the number of pedestrian collisions down,” explained Sergeant John Murphy, of 41 Division’s Traffic Enforcement Unit.
Of the 17 collision fatalities of 2016 so far, 10 of them have been pedestrians. In 2015, of the total 65 fatalities, 39 were pedestrians.
The top four causes of pedestrian fatalities are:
• Left turns at intersections
• Mid-block crossings
• Right turns at intersections
• Parking lot collisions
Of these fatalities almost 70 per cent of them involve seniors, which is why 41 Division also made it a point to visit senior homes and educate seniors on how to be safe when walking on the streets.
“Our number one message to pedestrians is to be aware of your surroundings, not to wear any devices that cause distractions, cross at the correct place and don’t cross mid-block,” said Murphy, on how pedestrians can be safe.
As for motorists, Murphy says that stopping fully at turns before driving on can save people from collisions as well as lowering speeds.
Crime Prevention Officer Constable Mark McCabe adds that motorists also need to slow down in rain or snow as visibility is reduced and stopping distance increases.
At 41 Division, McCabe says they took a multi-pronged approach, including educating seniors on how to cross safely to handing out pamphlets to pedestrians on the street as well as stopping drivers who may be taking risky turns or speeding.