• Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Steps Everyone Can Take To Ensure Pedestrian Safety

Last year proved to be the deadliest on record in Toronto in terms of pedestrian fatalities. Of the 43 people who lost their lives, 86 percent were 55 years of age or older. Police in the city reported 1,958 collisions involving motor vehicles and pedestrians. Equally as alarming were statistics released by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation revealing 96 pedestrians killed throughout the province. The total number of accidents resulting in pedestrian deaths or injuries was 4,189 in Ontario.

Pedestrian safety requires an effort by government officials, drivers and pedestrians for there to be an improvement. Here are some of the things that may help cut down on the number of accidents.

Changing the laws to make Ontario safer for pedestrians

The provincial government changed the laws pertaining to pedestrian crossovers and school crossings a while back to improve pedestrian safety. Ontario motorists and individuals on bicycles must stop to yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing at crossovers, school crossings and at intersections where a crossing guard is on duty. Drivers and cyclists cannot proceed until pedestrians have crossed from one side of the roadway to the other.

Drivers and bicycle riders who violate the law can be fined between $150 and $500 for violating the law. Licensed drivers are also subject to having 3 demerit points added to their driving record.

Pedestrian crosswalks are usually located at intersections controlled by traffic signals or stop signs. Crossovers are usually located on a road or street away from an intersection. They are indicated by signs and lights and are controlled electronically by pole-mounted buttons people can press to allow them to cross the street.

What drivers and pedestrians can do to prevent pedestrian accidents

Drivers must obey the rules of the road and keep a proper lookout for other vehicles and pedestrians. There are specific actions each driver can take to reduce or eliminate the risk of injuring a pedestrian, including:

  • Watch for pedestrians walking along the side of the road or on sidewalks who might cross the street
  • When making a turn, drivers should look for pedestrians cross in their path
  • Reduce speed near schools, playgrounds, residential neighborhoods and other locations where children might cross the street or dart out
  • Drivers should wait until pedestrian has crossed to the other side of the road before proceeding
  • Keep a lookout for people crossing the street near bus stops and streetcar stops

Pedestrians cannot rely solely on drivers to keep them safe when crossing or walking along the street. Some of the actions pedestrians can take to prevent collisions with vehicles include:

  • Cross the street at an intersection and not in the middle of the road unless there is a designated pedestrian crossover
  • If going out in the late afternoon or evening when it’s getting dark, do not wear dark clothing. Dress in bright colors or add reflective tape to clothing to improve visibility.
  • Obey traffic control devices when crossing the street
  • Watch out for vehicles when crossing the street. This includes keeping a lookout for turning vehicles.
  • When walking through parking lots or crossing driveways, maintain a lookout for vehicles backing up.

Pedestrian accident personal injury lawyers

If you are a pedestrian injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a driver, you are entitled to be compensated for your injuries. Thepersonal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamondhave successful fought for compensation for individuals injured in all types of accidents. Learn how they can help you by contacting their 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or by visiting their website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and they have offices located throughout Ontario.

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