Alarmingly, the number of pedestrian deaths in Toronto has gone up 15% over the past five years. This translates to a collision every four hours, and a death every 10 days. Statistics also indicate that as a matter of fault, drivers are often responsible for 50- 60% of fatalities whereas pedestrians are responsible 25- 30% of the time.
If you have been struck by a car at a crosswalk, determining the factual circumstances can be helpful to your case. Factors such as the drivers’ failure to stop, failure to yield, evidence of reckless driving, driver inattention, speeding, or drunk driving will be helpful for assessing driver fault. Remember that according to Section 144 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, drivers are obligated to yield the right of way at intersections to pedestrians. Furthermore, pedestrians must be allowed to fully cross the crosswalk before the driver may proceed with his or her turn.
Safety tips for Pedestrians
- Look both ways and pay attention
- Cross only when traffic has completely stopped
- Do not try to “make the light”. If the “do not walk” symbol has started to blink, it is inadvisable to begin your crossing.
- Avoid distractions such as texting.
Safety tips for Drivers
- Patience at crosswalks: New by- laws in Ontario require full stops at crosswalks and require the driver to yield the full roadway until the pedestrians have crossed the road.
- Watching your blindspots
- Proceeding slowly: Often case drivers will proceed through a right turn on red without first stopping – this is illegal!
Reducing traffic and crosswalk fatalities will require more awareness and mutual cooperation between drivers and pedestrians. It is our hope at Grillo Barristers that such articles and public awareness campaigns can help curb this issue.