Nova Sco­tia pedes­trian fa­tal­ity rates up in 2018

Annapolis Valley Register - - EVENTS - BY IAN FAIR­CLOUGH SALTWIRE NET­WORK RE­GIONAL

While the num­ber of high­way fatal­i­ties in 2018 was up more than 50 per cent over 2017, the num­ber of pedes­tri­ans killed has al­most dou­bled.

As of Box­ing Day, 76 peo­ple died on Nova Sco­tia roads in 2018, up from 48 last year. Of those deaths, 12 were pedes­tri­ans.

That’s as many as the pre­vi­ous two years com­bined, and the most since 13 peo­ple on foot were killed in 2006.

“It’s im­por­tant for both sides to keep their eyes and ears open when they’re out driv­ing or walk­ing or en­gag­ing in some other form of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity,” said RCMP Cpl. Jen­nifer Clarke.

“It’s im­por­tant as well, when cross­ing the road, to ac­knowl­edge the driver us­ing the road and make sure they do see you and that they ac­knowl­edge that you’re there.”

She said while pedes­tri­ans al­ways have the right of way at cross­walks and in­ter­sec­tions, “if you’re the pedes­trian and the car doesn’t see you, even if you do have the right of way, I think most of us know how that’s go­ing to go. It’s im­por­tant to pro­tect your­self and get the at­ten­tion of the driver to make sure you can be safe.”

She said road con­di­tions such as snow and ice can af­fect how quickly or eas­ily some­one can cross a road, but also how well a mo­torist can stop.

And while peo­ple tend to have head­phones on while run­ning or walk­ing “it’s im­por­tant that you can ac­tu­ally hear traf­fic, and that you’re aware of what’s go­ing on around you even with the mu­sic on.”

Clarke also said peo­ple should have re­flec­tive cloth­ing or lights when walk­ing in low light, and should walk fac­ing traf­fic flow when there is no side­walk.

The other deaths last year in­cluded 52 ve­hi­cle oc­cu­pants, nine mo­tor­cy­clists, two off-road ve­hi­cles, and one cy­clist.

The to­tal is the most since 80 peo­ple died in 2013.

Clarke said such an in­crease is con­cern­ing, and while po­lice hope the fa­tal­ity rate will go down again, “tem­po­rary blip or not, each of those num­bers in­volve a fam­ily with a whole circle of peo­ple who are miss­ing the per­son who is no longer with us.”

She said po­lice will con­tinue to con­cen­trate en­force­ment, pa­trols, and ed­u­ca­tion on ar­eas where there are higher deaths or an in­flux in par­tic­u­lar causal fac­tors.

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