Pedestrian deaths spike in GTA

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Radar Identified
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Pedestrian deaths spike in GTA

by: Radar Identified on
Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:37 am

In the past eight days, 9 pedestrians have been killed in the GTA. Five of them were killed by vehicles making turns. At least two of them were killed by jaywalking or crossing in areas where they should not have. One was killed by a red light runner and another was killed by a driver who rocketed through a stop sign (I don't mean rolling stop, I mean he just tore right through without slowing down). Speed is not being blamed as the cause in any of the collisions. At least seven of the fatalities appear to have a common theme: Not paying attention, either by the driver or the pedestrian.

This does not include three additional pedestrian fatalities since January 6 in Durham region.

Police are reminding motorists and pedestrians to PAY ATTENTION. This means stop using the cellphone or texting, watch where you're going, and don't make any assumptions (e.g. "the driver will stop for me," or "there won't be any pedestrians there"). Police are also asking pedestrians to stop jaywalking and motorists to look before they turn. Most of these concepts are very basic but it seems that in our super-technological world, some of us almost need a beep or flashing light to alert us that something may be unsafe or that we're going to hit something. It's like basic survival instincts are dulled or gone.

It seems like no one is paying attention any more, and even if they are, they've got such an entitlement attitude that they won't think twice about endangering their lives, or someone else's, because whatever they're doing is the most convenient thing for them... especially here in the GTA.

Thoughts?
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by: gatorMan on
Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:55 am

Well said!
we share the road. It is not just for cars, but for peds, bikes, motocycles etc. These lastest deaths are very troubling


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by: hwybear on
Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:24 pm

I see the non-chalent approach of pedestrians all the time, red stop hand comes up and they still proceed. Or light turns green and pedestrians just start walking, not noticing the stop hand is still up as vehicle turns are commencing.

I don't know is the pedestrian crossings with the second timer on it helps or not? (see those in Florida)
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by: Bookm on
Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:25 pm

Proof that Darwin was right!


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by: hwybear on
Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:27 pm

Bookm - where have your been??? missed ya!! out making more shows/movies? :D
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by: Radar Identified on
Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:14 pm

The 10th pedestrian fatality happened this morning on Dufferin Street. A woman jaywalked in front of a Honda Odyssey who attempted to avoid the collision, but despite the efforts of the driver, the side mirror struck the pedestrian and knocked her down where she struck her head on the pavement. She died at the scene.
hwybear wrote:I don't know is the pedestrian crossings with the second timer on it helps or not? (see those in Florida)
Most intersections in Toronto have that as well, and eventually all of them will have it. The unintended benefit of the timers is that collisions due to red light running have dropped (drivers better able to anticipate the traffic light cycle).
hwybear wrote:I see the non-chalent approach of pedestrians all the time, red stop hand comes up and they still proceed. Or light turns green and pedestrians just start walking, not noticing the stop hand is still up as vehicle turns are commencing.
Everyone seems like they've firmly lodged their heads where the sun doesn't shine. I've watched pedestrians step into the street where they had no business crossing in the first place, and even if they did, where motorists had almost no opportunity to stop. When honked at or almost hit, they respond with the finger. This includes mommy and daddy with little junior, who is now learning some habits that will get him killed one day. I've had the light turn green, and started to move, only to have a pedestrian dart out into the crosswalk - again, I honk, I get the finger.

On the other side of the coin, I've been crossing the street, broad daylight, "walk" signal, and had cars turn left or right and almost hit me. To add to it, they usually honk, as though how dare I try to cross the street when they want to turn.

I've stopped at a collision scene where a moron made a right turn on a red light without slowing or stopping, and nailed a pedestrian who was legally crossing the street, breaking her leg. The first words out of his mouth: "WTF is your problem, lady? Look what you did to my car!" :shock:
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by: Reflections on
Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:52 am

Radar Identified wrote: The first words out of his mouth: "WTF is your problem, lady? Look what you did to my car!" Shocked
And that is the GTA way.............
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by: Bookm on
Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:31 am

hwybear wrote:Bookm - where have your been??? missed ya!! out making more shows/movies? :D
Started home business = spare-time gone!
(much less time to belly-ache on Forums, LOL)

I'm rarely a pedestrian, but when I am, man, my heads spinnin' in ten directions at once! The roads are filling up with a generation of folks who have been repeatedly congratulated for accomplishing nothing throughout their life, and now they're all out there with their resultant "me, me, me" attitudes driving like the self-centered knuckleheads that they are.

Both pedestrians and drivers are at fault (thought, legally, the driver is usually at fault). Maybe we need to step back a few generations and acquire the mindset of "every man for himself" (within reason). I'm not sure when folks adopted the assumption that cars are safe and insignificant, but I'm glad I grew up when we KNEW they could kill ya' ;)


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by: hwybear on
Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:31 pm

unitl people start owing up to their mistakes (red, yellow light) violations when they actually do get caught (even by cameras) and be more cognizant of the lights ........then pedestrians not looking both ways...this saga will continue for many years to come
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by: Marquisse on
Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:05 pm

Radar Identified wrote:I've stopped at a collision scene where a moron made a right turn on a red light without slowing or stopping, and nailed a pedestrian who was legally crossing the street, breaking her leg. The first words out of his mouth: "WTF is your problem, lady? Look what you did to my car!" :shock:
On Dundas Street, between Bay and Yonge on the North side is a office building with some light retail in the basement and lobby. The sidewalk is about 10 feet wide at that location from what I recall. Anyhow, I was walking there one evening after work and along comes this late 40s looking bohemian lady on a bike complete with baskets and flowing skirt overtop spandex pants and cyclist shoes, barrelling westward on the North sidewalk. Walking eastward was a slight asian woman of about 5'1" tall and about 90lbs total. This is RUSH hour during a work week. She proceeds to slice pedestrian traffic like Moses did the sea but this small woman couldn't get out of the way in time. The small asian woman freezes, the Edie Brickell lookalike tumbles over her front tire and halfway on the street/curb, gets UP and proceeds to scream at this woman "WTF lady, watch where the hell you're going." along with a colourful assortment of adjectives to describe exactly what she thought of this woman. I mean, how bleeping bleeping dare she be a pedestrian on the same sidewalk that Edie dear is trying to re-enact the tour de France during rush hour. The nerve!

Never did it dawn on Edie that she was not supposed to be on the sidewalk and nearly plowed over 50 people before she was cut down herself. What an idiot.


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by: Radar Identified on
Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:04 pm

Bookm wrote:The roads are filling up with a generation of folks who have been repeatedly congratulated for accomplishing nothing throughout their life, and now they're all out there with their resultant "me, me, me" attitudes driving like the self-centered knuckleheads that they are.
That says it all. My personal theory is that parents have become so over-protective that the younger generation lacks basic coping and survival skills. Parents go and fight all their kids' battles for them. When little Jane or Johnny does something vociferously stupid, Daddy steps in and tells them it's okay and then tells off the complainant/police officer/neighbour who reported the behaviour, instead of disciplining and correcting their kid. So the kid gets the idea that they can go about life being a total pighead and nothing will come of it... and it's gone right into the world of driving/cycling/walking.
Marquisse wrote:Never did it dawn on Edie that she was not supposed to be on the sidewalk and nearly plowed over 50 people before she was cut down herself. What an idiot.
That's incredible! What she did was basically assault. (Okay not by the legal definition, but still...) Maybe it was the same cyclist in this thread. "Me, me, me." Did anyone say something to Edie look-alike?

I agree that cyclists have no business being on a sidewalk, unless it's a little kid. A lot of them in downtown will go on the sidewalk because they're afraid of being turned into road pizza - but my view is, if the traffic's too scary for them to ride in it, dismount, get on the sidewalk and walk the bike!

Side note... Montreal ran a fairly extensive pedestrian safety campaign starting in 2006. It included educational messages on TV and radio, billboards, and police enforcement. They clobbered both drivers and pedestrians alike. Since then, fatalities have steadily fallen. The Montreal area has had zero pedestrian fatalities this year. The GTA already has 13. Maybe we should look at doing the same?
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by: Marquisse on
Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:42 am

I just read that thread. :shock: It sounds like they had the same entitlement attitude. This woman was completely oblivious to the fact that her being on the sidewalk riding alone was enough to charge her, nevermind the fact that she nearly killed that other woman. Everyone just left the cyclist there to fix herself up because of her hostility and, amazingly, aside from the pedestrian being dazed at what just happened to her, the woman she mowed over actually asked her if she was okay out of concern - all the while being berated by this idiot.

I worked in downtown T.O. from '96 to '07, and I've seen my share of suicidal cyclists. They are insane for the most part - speaking of the courier guys. I'm sorry but I have little sympathy for them when I hear of one being hit downtown. I rarely drove downtown and TTC'd it to work out of convenience and I've had close calls many times. I've seen how they zig-zag across Yonge Street in the core at noon. When Michael Bryant got charged last summer I thought it was B.S. - and still do. The guy was drunk, angry, aggressive, and suicidal/homocidal. Pretty much standard characteristics for most courier bikers downtown.


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by: Radar Identified on
Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:15 pm

Marquisse wrote:Everyone just left the cyclist there to fix herself up because of her hostility
It's almost remarkable that one of the pedestrians that she almost slammed into did not knock her back to the concrete.
Marquisse wrote:They are insane for the most part - speaking of the courier guys.
Downtown Toronto's "sui-cyclists." :x I've had my own share of close calls. The worst example I ever saw was when I came up to a red light, fire truck running code (lights/siren) approaching the green, sui-cyclist coming up on my right side, doesn't look, doesn't slow, and blows the red light in front of the fire truck. The fire truck slammed on the brakes and laid on the air horn, so this guy, unbelievably, turned and shouted obscenities at the firefighters. :shock: :shock:

It's the same people who are demanding that city hall put bike lanes on Jarvis Street (daily traffic: 27 000+ cars, 130 bicycles), even though Sherbourne Street, one block east, already has them. They berate drivers for not giving way and they berate pedestrians for not getting out of the way, when they break more traffic laws and act more recklessly than the drivers or pedestrians. Even more of an entitlement attitude!

No wonder everyone's crashing into each other.

EDIT: 12th pedestrian fatality occurred this morning. Dump truck turning right struck and killed a pedestrian at Danforth and Broadview.
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by: Radar Identified on
Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:11 pm

Video from the CBC regarding the pedestrian fatalities:

http://en.video.sympatico.ca/index.php/ ... te/desc/1/

They are largely talking about both drivers and pedestrians not paying attention. Now the Solicitor-General of British Columbia, which also enacted a cellphone driving ban, is saying they may also ban hands-free devices while driving because the issue is the distraction, not the hands on the wheel.

Despite the fact that, with only one exception, none of the fatalities were due to high speeds or speeding, and speed was not a factor in any of them (except one), Toronto City Councillor Bill Saundercook wants to lower speed limits. Of course, he hasn't largely talked about getting people to pay attention to what they're doing, which is the common thread of all of these tragic deaths.
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by: ditchMD on
Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:16 am

I'd be curious to know how much of a role regulation, read over-regulation, plays in this scenario. I'm not suggesting that rules are a bad thing, but too much of a good thing isn't, well, good. If we think about it, based on me experiences in the GTA, drivers are constantly looking to find out which sign is where and prohibiting them from doing what, when. Confusing enough just thinking about it, no? Anyways, they rely too much on signs and signals. Same goes with pedestrians. Reliance on what a system says removes much of our interaction driver-driver, driver-cyclist, and driver-pedestrian interactions.

I think I've mentioned the following in a prior post. In the province of Friesland, in the Netherlands, there is an absence of traffic signs and signals. This concept was also implemented in the city of Drachten. It's an interesting read; it can be found @ http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?f ... _id=462572


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