Halifax man shares alarming videos, urges councillors to improve crosswalks
Published Thursday, May 2, 2019 8:58PM ADT
An advocate for crosswalk safety in Halifax is speaking out after posting several videos on social media showing him nearly getting hit by a vehicle while crossing the street.
Martyn Williams wants more to be done so that pedestrians feel safe crossing the road. One video shows Williams knocking on a car hood as he tries to get by.
“You can’t wait until the traffic is stopped, because that doesn’t happen at an intersection like this, so it makes for a really dangerous conflict zone for pedestrians to cross,” Williams told CTV News.
The Nova Scotia Driver’s Handbook clearly states vehicles must wait for pedestrians to finish their crossing before going through.
Williams’ video appears to show that doesn’t always happen and police say drivers who don’t obey the rules could face a hefty fine.
“Failing to yield to a pedestrian is roughly seven hundred dollars. They are fairly substantial fines,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. John MacLeod.
While Williams is grateful for the work police are doing to “calm traffic,” he would like to see more done. Williams is originally from the United Kingdom and says we should adopt a similar practice to what they do there.
“What you can do – you can stop – you can put the red lights on in all directions for about 20 seconds, that way pedestrians can walk across the road, in all directions completely safely,” said Williams. “They don’t have to worry about turning traffic coming at them.”
Williams has reached out to the Halifax Regional Municipality with his idea. He’s heard it will be shared with councillors next month.
Halifax Regional Coun. Lorelei Nicoll represents District 4 in Cole Harbour. She says the municipality is looking at a variety of solutions to make streets safer.
“When streets and roads need to be fully upgraded because of the condition of their asphalt – they’re looking at the lens of complete streets and making them more pedestrian-centric and trying to slow down traffic,” said Nicoll.
Nicoll pointed to Colby Drive in Cole Harbour which is about to get five islands in the section that’s being re-paved this year.
But Martyn Williams says he wants to see more progress around the city, so all pedestrians can cross the road safely without concern.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.