Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another pedestrian killed in GTA

Kenyon Wallace, National Post Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TORONTO - A woman in her 30s became the 14th pedestrian to die on GTA roadways this month after she was struck and killed by an SUV in the city's west end last night.

Police said the woman, 38, was struck by a Dodge Durango travelling northbound on Symington Avenue as it made a left turn onto Davenport Road at around 6:25 p.m.

Sergeant Tim Burrows of Toronto Police Traffic Services said the woman was crossing Davenport at Symington but was walking west of the intersection, outside the crosswalk.

"The light was green for north and south and she was crossing the road with the lights," he said. "Unfortunately, she was a little bit outside the crosswalk, which may have surprised the driver. We're not really sure yet."

Meanwhile yesterday, a Woodbridge man who was hit by a streetcar while crossing Queen Street near Broadview Avenue shortly after midnight Saturday died in hospital.

Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/story.html?id=2484125#ixzz0dmHi0Yqz
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  1. Given that most of the pedestrian deaths happen at intersections with turning cars, I would like to propose an alternative approach that I personally use when I occasionally drive my car.

    (To be fair, I haven't always driven like this, but for the last 2 years or so I have changed my approach)

    When I make a turn at an intersection, I turn slowly enough so that if I happened to hit someone who might be walking outside of the "safe" zone, they would certainly not perish.

    Tim, you have a very strong voice in this city and can effect change. I would like to challenge you to ask drivers to turn at intersections at a speed that wouldn't kill a pedestrian - should one happen to walk in front of you.

    There must be something you can say in your typical interviews that will get the message across to drivers: (e.g. "Please drive as if all pedestrians were your children", or as Todd says "please drive as if hitting a pedestrian would result in a massive explosion and risk of your death").

    I think it's fine to remind pedestrians to be vigilant, but I think the police need to put more emphasis on drivers - especially when you are commenting on a situation that was clearly the driver's fault.

    I've never seen a ticket handed out to a driver for rolling through a red light on a right-hand turn. This is such a common maneuvre in this city that people rarely bother making a complete stop unless they are blocked. A little bit of enforcement/PR on this would go a long way in getting the message across to drivers.

    Sure, the police do a great job at catching speeders on some streets (e.g. Lakeshore) and for catching drivers going through red lights, but it's not speeders and red-light runners that are causing most of these unnecessary deaths. It is drivers who carelessly roll through a turn at an intersection.

    Thanks for listening, and I hope you can help make change for the better Sgt. Burrows!

  2. On January 24th, 2010 RoadAwareness.ca hosted a Distracted Driving Experiment at Formula Kartways in Brampton, ON. The objective was simple enough…take drivers with various levels of experience and get them to drive while distracted. Each driver was subjected to various exercises including a slalom course, swerve & avoid as well as reaction time tests. At first participants drove without any distracts but later had to perform the same tests while talking on a cell phone (including using hands-free kits) and while texting.

    Visit here for more details:

    CBC's "The National" Coverage: