Increasing number of pedestrian-vehicle collisions happening in crosswalks: HRP
Published Friday, August 11, 2017 7:33PM ADT
A slowly escalating pattern of pedestrian-vehicle collisions shows that 68 per cent occurred while the victim was using a crosswalk.
People have been struck by vehicles 104 times in Halifax so far in 2017. The numbers are higher than they've been the last two years, and the second highest since 2013.
Of the 104 collisions, 68 per cent happened in a crosswalk. Just over half those occurred when the vehicle was driving straight through.
While that may sound like a startling fact, officials say it mirrors trends in other cities.
“It's not unusual for most of the collisions to happen at marked crosswalk locations because that's where most pedestrians cross,” says Taso Koutroulakis, manager of HRM Traffic Management.
After a spike in collisions in 2014, the municipality and the province moved to change the stats.
Zebra stripes have been added at uncontrolled crosswalks, more than 200 safety flags have been installed, crossing times have been extended, a new pilot project is testing strobe-type lights, and an education campaign was launched.
But still, the numbers are rising.
“It isn't getting any better,” says Norm Collins of the Crosswalk Safety Society. “Drivers and pedestrians, because in some of those cases it's the pedestrian who is not being alert enough, are just too distracted.”
Collins says he’ll continue to advocate for better safety and to educate people.
“Just because you push a button, just because you pick up a flag, just because you look left and right once, that's not enough,” he says.
While Collins can't prove his orange flags are making the difference, he says collisions are down in Dartmouth this year.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.