Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Take care when using crosswalks

Your safety takes precedence over your right of way

Whilst on route to work before 7 a.m., travelling west, I approached the bike path crosswalk just west of the corner of Eckhart and Government Street.

It was a dark morning and the only thing that alerted me to pedestrians on my far left was that a vehicle in the opposite lane had began to slow down and come to a stop. I had time to engage the brakes, but not enough time to come to a full stop and so I blew through the crosswalk.

Needless to say the two pedestrians who were now about halfway across in the left lane raised there hands in anger. Fair enough, I was technically in the wrong. But the reality is we are creatures of habit. I have been using this route to work for the last eight years and have never witnessed this crosswalk used in the wee hours of the morning — yet alone dark winter mornings — not even down the road crosswalks near Penticton Secondary School. Hence my reluctance to take due diligence.

When I cross at a crosswalk I do not enter the traffic unless there is plenty of time to make it to the other side inbetween oncoming traffic and if vehicles are in close proximity stop, then great. If not, no big deal because I’m not on the road. In other words I approach the crosswalk as if it was not there and use the common sense that we were taught as kids to cross the street.

I would encourage pedestrians to do the same as your safety takes precedence over your right of way.

Mike Bell


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