Letter: Pointing fingers at cyclists and pedestrians isn't helpful

Editor:

Re: Three people dead in Burnaby in two days. This madness has to stopNOW Blogs

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We all - drivers, pedestrians and cyclists - have a responsibility to optimize road safety and minimize injuries and deaths. It does not matter who is at fault in accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists and motor vehicles - pedestrians and cyclists are at the greatest risk of injury and death, as they are not in a metal vehicle. 

When I hear of a pedestrian or cyclist injured or killed when in an accident with a motor vehicle and the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk or the cyclist wasn't wearing a helmet or either was not wearing light or reflective clothing on a dark evening, possibly in the rain - I don't pass judgement. 

I am saddened. 

One just has to consider the definition of accident. I have worked enough shifts in hospital emergency (departments) to know the devastating impact, not only on the person injured or killed, but family, friends and those of us working in health care. 

I believe it is helpful and constructive when the attending police provide information as to what may have caused an accident, as this helps others to be more cognizant of how they can avoid and prevent accidents affecting themselves and others.

Just this past week, while driving, I saw a woman pushing a stroller with a child in it enter a crosswalk, although the red hand was up indicating not to enter the crosswalk, as there was not time to safely cross.

I saw another pedestrian do this at the same spot in November during rush hour when it was dark and rainy and the pedestrian dressed in all dark clothing. I share this information in the hope it helps to raise awareness as to just a few ways all of us can minimize injuries and deaths and optimize road safety. 

Please note:

A relative is permanently and severely brain damaged due to hitting a drop in the road he was riding his bike on. His bike toppled and his head hit the road. This was before bike helmets were mandatory when riding a bike in B.C. 

I have been hit by other drivers - one who fell asleep driving a truck he had stolen after using heroin - while driving my car wearing a seatbelt, which is another safety measure that has come into effect during my lifetime.

From mistakes and accidents, lessons can be learned by all of us. Blaming and finger pointing is not helpful.

Diane Gillis, Burnaby

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