Viewpoint: Safe road use encouraged for all

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By HAZEL GARDNER

This is in response to the Dec. 5 front-page article regarding the pedestrian that was hit crossing Rainbow Road at the junction of Lower Ganges Road.

So often in these pedestrian-vehicle accidents the driver of the vehicle is deemed to be in the wrong, but are pedestrians ever aware of how difficult it can be for the driver to stop in sometimes difficult situations that could be dangerous for others if one allows a lone pedestrian to amble across in front of you?

There seems to be a huge lack of respect for drivers in this part of the world. People just step out into the road oblivious of cars and trucks, deeming that they are pedestrians and therefore have the right of way on the road. OK, so a crosswalk is a safe place to cross, but only if you have first stopped at the curb and looked to your left and right to make sure that nothing is coming in either direction …. and then if there is a car, make eye contact with the driver to be assured he has seen you, and how about a nod or wave of gratitude?

The crosswalk from the school is a nightmare. Kids just amble out into the road without a sideways glance, and certainly not an acknowledgement. Where I lived before coming to Canada, children were taught the “Green Cross Code” of STOP LOOK AND LISTEN. It’s so simple, so sensible and of course I’m teaching that to my grandchildren and hope it might just catch on here!

But back to the bottom of Rainbow Road and the accident that occurred on Nov. 28. I’m sorry that lady was hurt. However, she must have noticed the truck that she describes as big and white, so maybe she should have made eye contact with the driver before assuming he had seen her. Trying to turn left or right at the bottom of Rainbow in a car Safe road use encouraged

is a nightmare, with trying to gau

ge the speed of the cars coming up and down Lower Ganges Road and, added to that, people stepping out just as you, the driver, see a lull in the traffic that will enable you to get your car moving out of the traffic jam that so often occurs there.

Added to that is the crosswalk! Just as you are about to turn right towards town, having checked the traffic to your left, folks press that button and step right out as if that wee flashing light makes them impervious to pain and maybe even death. Think, pedestrians: Stop, look and listen!

Oh, and a nifty trick for pedestrians who must cross a road where there is no crosswalk: cross behind the first car in the line-up of traffic. That way it enables the driver of car #1 to move and go when the opportunity arises and lets the driver of car #2 see you while he is waiting in the line, and make eye contact with a nod, a smile or a wave.

Well, here’s to safer road use for all this Christmas . . . and on and on into 2019 and beyond.

The writer is a Pallot Way resident.

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