OUR VIEW: There’s no right way to hit someone

It’s a moot point after the coroner has arrived to pick up the pedestrian struck and killed.

Yes. The pedestrian may have been jaywalking. May have been dressed all in black, and may have even been looking at their cellphone. And, yes, the driver may have been going over the speed limit and not paying attention. And, yes, fault will be found and blame placed. But whether it was a misjudgment by a pedestrian or carelessness by a driver, the fact remains that nobody deserves to become a statistic.

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Lives are ruined forever when a pedestrian is struck and killed. Family, friends and loved ones suffer. The driver responsible will never be the same after such an event. The impact of such an incident cannot be overestimated.

New statistics released last month (October) reveal that 10 pedestrians died in B.C. following road accidents, more than twice the average number for October over the past six years.

The total number of pedestrian lives lost in B.C. this year up until Oct. 31 is 47. Not surprisingly, coroners’ statistics show that pedestrian deaths occur more frequently in the fall and winter months, with January, November and December being the months with the highest numbers.

Drivers often blame pedestrians, pedestrians blame drivers – and, let’s face it, if you’re a pedestrian and in the right, you’ll still end up getting the worst of the encounter.

So, pedestrians:

  • Ensure you are visible. Wear something light, and wear reflective material.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before you cross.
  • Don’t jaywalk.
  • Don’t try to cross when the light is turning amber or you’re running out of time.

So, drivers:

  • When turning left or right at intersections, watch out for pedestrians.
  • Never pass another vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk or when it is likely to be waiting for a pedestrian to cross.
  • Avoid all use of cellphones and pay close attention to pedestrians who may be waiting to cross.
  • Remember, being in the right isn’t going to feel any better after you’ve hit someone.
  • Visibility is bad at night, but when it’s raining or foggy, it’s better to assume that you will not see somebody than it is to assume that you will see everybody.

Please, be careful out there. These are not stories we like to write or publish.

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© New West Record

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