EDITORIAL: Protecting pedestrians

It took a cultural shift to battle drinking and driving, perhaps it’s time to make another shift so fewer pedestrians die in our streets.

It took a cultural shift to battle drinking and driving, perhaps it’s time to make another shift so fewer pedestrians die in our streets.

As with drunk driving, we can do that by changing laws, attitudes and public perception.

Tougher laws and costly penalties made it unacceptable to drink and drive. Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving got behind the campaigns and programs such as Operation Red Nose made it easier for people to make the right choice during the holidays. Corporations launched campaigns to make it cool to be the designated driver and drivers — thus educated and forewarned — changed their behaviour.

It may take similar efforts to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities, which last year totalled 63, according to the BC Coroner’s Service. That’s almost the same number of people who were killed by drunk drivers last year, yet where’s the outcry?

The sad fact is it’s walking seniors, 70 years and older, who die the most often in a collision with a car. Where do most of these fatalities occur? At intersections and marked crosswalks. When? In December and January, when it’s dark and rainy. In fact, people of all ages are at greatest risk during this province’s gloomiest months.

Pedestrians need to understand that there are no safe intersections or crosswalks. Adults must apply the same safety rules they teach their kids: be aware of your surroundings, look both ways, make eye contact with drivers. And sorry, seniors, old age is not an exemption from the crucial lessons we direct at our youth.

But it doesn’t stop there: Driver education must be enhanced, laws must be toughened and outerwear must be reflective, or at the very least lighter in colour.

Pedestrian fatalities aren’t any less serious than drunk driving deaths. So why are they treated that way?

—Black Press

Just Posted

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

Kiyoshi Kosky running for Courtenay City Council

I am Kiyoshi Kosky and am running in the upcoming Courtenay Municipal… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

Authorities worried about the stability of remaining large sections of a partially collapsed bridge evacuated about 630 people from nearby apartments.

Former CIA Director: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, John Brennan cites press reports and Trump’s own goading of Russia during the campaign to find Democrat Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

Since the crisis exploded in Boston in 2002, dioceses around the country have dealt with similar revelations of widespread sexual abuse.

Baloney Meter: is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

“I think any time you have a government that allows 30,000 people over the course of a short period of time to come into Canada illegally, the impact that that has, that is a crisis,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

B.C. RCMP say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled today

RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Most Read