Safety first when crossing a street

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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Crossing a busy intersection that doesn’t have a crosswalk is not an easy feat. It’s dangerous. 

A vehicle has probably never struck most of us before, but most of us have probably had close calls. It only takes one distraction or dropping one thing before something terrible can happen. This is true on all roads, but the risk can increase with higher speed limits.

The risk is present no matter how big the city is or how small. The worst possible scenario is what happened back on March 7 — a fatality.

A semi trailer hit a 30-year-old man walking on the Trans-Canada Highway around 4 a.m. near Moose Jaw.

We hear stories of pedestrians being hit by a vehicle far too often. Sometimes it’s the driver’s fault. Sometimes it’s weather factors. Either way, it’s not a situation anyone wants to encounter.

Councillors showed unanimous support to install a crosswalk at the intersection of Thatcher Drive and 11th Avenue Northwest on Monday night. While of course it doesn’t guarantee accidents will never happen, it sure does help.

Pedestrian safety is very important. It’s paramount for pedestrians and drivers to pay attention at all times to what’s going on around them. Look two ways before crossing the street and don’t push it if a car is coming too fast or is too close.

Stay alert to pedestrians waiting to cross at crosswalks and let them cross, as they have the right of way. Don’t do any kind of distracted driving.

When children cross the street, sometimes they might drop something and turn around to go get it.

According to Parachute Canada, a national charity, children aged five to 14 years are at the greatest risk of pedestrian-related deaths. Most injuries and deaths occur in urban areas.

Research done by the University of Alabama in Birmingham discovered that using a cellphone while crossing the street increases the risk of being hit by a vehicle by one third.

This goes two ways. That is a distraction for drivers and pedestrians that shouldn’t be used while driving or walking.

Studies also found slower vehicle speeds reduce the risk of pedestrian injuries. Parachute Canada said drivers tend to slow down on streets lined with trees.

Councillors made a good decision regarding the crosswalk, but it’s up to us, as drivers and pedestrians, to be aware at all intersections or crossings. It’s safer for everyone.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway, University of Alabama

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Thatcher, 11th Avenue Northwest Birmingham Canada

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