The City of Vancouver launched a safety program called: People are Fragile. It is an excellent campaign to raise awareness of the all too common bad behaviors by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians that can have potentially fatal consequences.
Even though there have been several safety campaigns launched by the city, police, Preventable.ca and Drop It And Drive, pedestrian deaths are at their highest rate since 2008.
During a five-week period in late 2012, 13 pedestrians were killed. According to Jill Blacklock of ICBC there are approximately 2300 pedestrian accidents a year in BC; 61 of those resulted in fatalities.
Many cities and municipalities have implemented new programs and technology to help keep our streets safe. Red light cameras, count-down lights, raised sidewalks, improved lighting, pedestrian controlled crossings and traffic calmed streets are already in use in many intersections in Vancouver. The City of Surrey is implementing a pedestrian video detection system – the first of its kind in Canada. It monitors pedestrians as they cross and adjusts the time so they have more if needed.
Despite all the safety measures, pedestrians cannot assume an action of a driver. John Vavrik, an ICBC psychologist recommends, “assume you are invisible.”
You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Even if you’re following all safety precautions like wearing reflective clothing, and crossing in a marked crosswalk, it may not be enough. Keep your eye on the road and on the vehicles around you. No one knows this better than Nola Carlson and Shelley Lammers who as pedestrians were run down in Surrey last month. They took every precaution possible and still they were hit in a marked crosswalk by an SUV turning left. They both lived but have many injuries to content with.
Each road user – car, truck, bike, motorcycle, or pedestrian – has a responsibility to follow the rules of the road, be considerate, modify speed and be courteous to one another. This will be the only way these tragic accidents will be prevented.
What you need to know after your accident
A guide to ICBC, including the accident scene, expert advice, and settlement.
- December 4, 2012: CBC Radio Almanac
- December 7, 2012: Yahoo News
- December 7, 2012: Canada.com