TORONTO [PeterPaul.ca] – As many as 16 pedestrians were struck on the streets of Toronto on Thursday after a day of heavy rains and low-to-zero visibility for both drivers and pedestrians beginning in the early morning hours.
In 2002, Toronto created the first pedestrian charter in North America to “Create an urban environment in all parts of the city that encourages and supports walking.” Regrettably, pedestrians are struck all over the city [as seen below] on a daily basis and you can never be too safe while navigating the streets.
About 15% of all road traffic deaths in Canada involve pedestrians, according to Transport Canada. In the future, technology will play a big role including sensors in vehicles that will automatically brake when encountering a pedestrian at close range, regardless of weather. Although some cars have this feature today, most are out of an average driver’s price range, according to the CBC.
|Be ready for the unexpected even falling debris during wind gusts|
|Walk against traffic especially where sidewalks aren’t available|
|Do not walk near railway tracks|
|Use caution when crossing driveways or alleys as drivers may not see you|
|Look for white reverse lights or listen for beeping sounds|
|Drivers have different sightlines and driving abilities so always stay visible|
|Stay off snow banks during winter months|
- Look both ways before leaving the curb
- Wear light colored clothing and stay visible
Intersections can be a really dangerous place for cars but more so for pedestrians. Look both ways before leaving the curb and make eye contact with drivers at all intersections at all times, in good weather and bad.
Stay away from crossing a street from between parked vehicles and go to the nearest cross walk. It’ll be tough during winter but you’ll arrive alive.
Most intersections in the city are equipped with countdown timers which tell you how much time is left to cross. In situations when there are no traffic lights or even street markings, follow the golden rule: Stop, Look and Listen for traffic.
Remember, drivers are allowed to make a right turn on a red light in Canada so look left always and listen for traffic. Although pedestrians have the right-of-way by law, drivers approach intersections at high speeds on many occasions. At that speed, you’ll have seconds to react before impact.
- Never listen to music at max volume while navigating the city
- Keep music at a low volume so you can hear your surroundings
- Avoid talking or texting on the phone while crossing at an intersection
It seems like everyone has a mobile device nowadays and most of the time, they have headphones that accompany them. On some occasions if you’re standing close enough, you can hear music from someone else who has it on blast. This prevents you from hearing your surroundings and takes seconds off your reaction time.
Be mindful of how you use your device in certain places like public transit or dark alleys. Criminals use smash-and-grab techniques like using their arm to make you drop your phone. By the time you realize what’s going on, there usually long gone. Keep it in your pocket or bag until your in a public place.
In early October, 18-year-old Andrea Christidis was killed by an impaired driver. Despite all the awareness and routine RIDE spot checks by police, people still drink and drive as referenced from Twitter updates below:
Incidents Involving Pedestrians