Hallowe'en is upon us! It's a night when trick-or-treaters are out and about and we all take extra care to avoid pedestrian accidents. As the kids zig-zag from one side of the dark street to another, their attention is on the treats behind the next door, and not on the car coming around the corner!
However, we need to take that extra precaution against pedestrian accidents every day of the year. These days, many pedestrians are "plugged in" as they traverse our city streets - earbuds in, phones out, texting, talking, or tweeting.
Unfortunately, many drivers are doing the same thing. Neither drivers nor pedestrians can assume that the other is keeping at least one eye on the traffic.
A recent tragic accident in North Vancouver underscores this risk. The North Shore News reports that at 9:30 pm on October 20, 2015, an 18 year old woman crossed Mount Seymour Parkway against the light. She had her earbuds in and her phone out when she walked out into the dark intersection. She was struck by a vehicle and seriously injured. She was taken to hospital, where is in a medically-induced coma. No charges are pending against the driver.
North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Richard DeJong was quoted as saying, "We really caution pedestrians to not be on their phone, not have earbuds in, to look both ways - all the usual warnings."
BC sees a spike in pedestrian accidents every year from November to January. The News notes that 2014/2015 was a particularly bad year for pedestrian accidents in North Vancouver, with several people sent to hospital with serious injuries.
Local police and government officials kicked off BC's annual Pedestrian Safety Campaign on October 22, 2015. As the days get darker earlier, it's a reminder to unplug our earbuds, pocket our phones and look up as we cross the streets.