Editorial: Pedestrians, drivers need to take responsibility

Your personal safety is in your hands

Be smart, be seen.

Sure, drivers can be distracted and are frequently to blame in a pedestrian accident (which is why so many leave the scene). But if you’re the one getting knocked over, chances are you’re going to suffer more in a run-in with a car, truck or SUV than the driver of the vehicle.

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That’s why police and ICBC are reminding everyone to be extra cautious this time of year.

• Pedestrians — that’s you with the phone in your hand — make sure the driver sees you when you enter an intersection. It’s at these crossroads where most accidents involving pedestrians occur.

• Drivers, leave the phone alone, assume there’s a pedestrian about to enter the crosswalk and take extra care, taking a second look before proceeding — especially on those many dark, wet afternoons and evenings.

It’s no accident that 43% of all crashes involving pedestrians occur between October and January.  Weather, darkness, poor lighting, dark clothes, lack of care and attention all contribute to the problem.

This is common sense to most people. But everyone’s in a hurry and that’s why accidents happen. When we’re In a rush, common sense goes out the window.

Think we’re making this up? In a space of a few days last week, there were three pedestrian accidents involving Tri-City people, two in Coquitlam and one involving a Port Coquitlam man in Pitt Meadows.
We’re not laying blame. These accidents were terrible to everyone involved, and resulted in serious injuries.

But if we can remind our readers to take that extra step — whether it’s pedestrians waving to a driver, wearing a high-visibility vest, taking a second look at an intersection; or drivers slowing down, double-checking crosswalks and keeping keen eyes open for walkers and cyclists — then maybe we can prevent more accidents from occurring.

It takes a village to create safer roads.

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