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Letter: Why don't pedestrians and cyclists understand basic rules?

Editor: Wednesday’s Burnaby NOW has articles regarding women pedestrians struck by vehicles in Burnaby.


Wednesday’s Burnaby NOW has articles regarding women pedestrians struck by vehicles in Burnaby. One, Fernanda Girotto, was tragically killed in January 2018 and the other, a 22-year-old woman, was also tragically killed due to being struck by a bus. 

It does not matter who is right and who is wrong in pedestrian or bicycle-motor vehicle accidents - pedestrians and cyclists are at the greatest risk of injury and/or death. 

Sadly, there are too many pedestrians and cyclists who do not understand or know of what they can do to optimize their safety. I chair the communications subcommittee of the Burnaby Public Safety Committee. We coordinate public safety messaging and have covered pedestrian safety. At the November Transit Police Chief Community Council meeting, we discussed ways to optimize pedestrian safety. 

Would you consider including pedestrian safety tips? 

  • Wear reflective and/or light clothing so you are more visible to vehicle drivers, especially when it is dark and rainy thus visibility reduced.
  • Cross at a crosswalk.
  • Look both ways before crossing.
  • Do not step into a crosswalk when lighted hand signal has turned red.
  • Make eye contact with drivers.
  • Don't use your phone and/or headphones while walking or cycling.
  • Dismount from your bicycle before crossing.
  • Wear a helmet.

Something I think is telling. Last evening at about 5 p.m. - rush hour - when it was both dark and raining, as I was driving westbound on Kingsway in Vancouver, just past Boundary, a young woman dressed in all black clothing, ran, mid-block, across all six lanes of moving traffic from the north to the south side of Kingsway. 

When I saw her run in front of my car, she seemed to have come literally out of nowhere and, quite amazingly and fortunately, was not hit and made it to the other side of Kingsway.

There is a lot more to the concerns of many of us regarding pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Just advocating for optimal safety for pedestrians and cyclists as part of efforts for safety and optimal quality of life for all.

Diane Gillis, Burnaby