Making streets safer

Let’s work together to make the new year a pedestrian accident-free year.

It seems as though the cars rule the roads in Penticton. I recently read about a student trying to cross Government, and after numerous cars passed, traffic finally obeyed the rules of the road and stopped at the marked crosswalk.

Then I read about the pedestrian hit at a crossing on South Main. Fortunately for me, I was not one of these statistics, but I was an “almost accident” case.

As I recently walked across Main at Warren, on a walk sign, I had to take a quick step back so that I’d not be hit, by not one, but two cars speeding around the intersection, heading north on Main. They were going too fast for me to get their plate ID. Granted, it was 5:30 p.m., but the intersection is very well lit.

While I’m going to add some reflective device or lighting mechanism to my winter coat, I also call on all vehicle drivers to take precautions and practise safe driving, and especially during our dark days of winter, and get off your hand-held cellphone.

I also suggest to city council, as part of their ensuring all are safe on Penticton streets, that they explore options to put a greater, and enlightening, emphasis on designated crosswalks. In Toronto, many crosswalks have a flashing light wired across the crossing, initiated by a pedestrian waiting to cross the road.

Then we have the classic picture of John, George, Paul and Ringo, crossing at a zebra crossing in Britain, well marked with a flashing globe on both sides of the road.

Now, with our new city council, let’s have a new way to light our pedestrians to safety so that they do not become a traffic statistic.

To that student trying to cross on Government, I suggest they attend a city council meeting and ask council for their plans to improve street safety. I used to live near a railway crossing in Toronto, and unfortunately, there was no barrier installed until after the pieces of a young child were picked up within the area.

I know that city council is not waiting for a fatal accident to occur, due to driver carelessness. We are in the 21st century and soon entering 2012, so let’s work together to make the new year a pedestrian accident-free year.

Brigid Kemp