A recent PSA by Alberta Transportation delivers a loud and clear message.

Motorists — here are a bunch of sure-fire excuses to keep in mind when you mow down a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Yep — keep on grinning. Thumbs up, baby, you’re golden.

Peds — it’s always your fault.  And you’re not safe anywhere.

ped-safety

After much outrage, Alberta Transportation pulled the message.  But it’s hard to understand how peds are singled out like this, when the facts of the matter are quite clear as to what the source of the danger is.

According to the City of Vancouver’s 2012 Pedestrian Safety Study:

The vast majority of collisions at intersections involved drivers failing to yield to pedestrians when pedestrians had the right-of-way. ƒ

One quarter of all pedestrian collisions took place at mid-block locations, where the pedestrian was either crossing the street at a mid-block crosswalk or a location without a traffic control, crossing a driveway or laneway, or was struck at the sidewalk or at a bus stop. ƒ

The top five pedestrian collision types listed below accounted for approximately two-thirds of all pedestrian collisions:

  1. Vehicle turns left while pedestrian crosses with right-of-way at signalized intersection (25.6% of known collision types)
  2. Vehicle turns right while pedestrian crosses with right-of-way at signalized intersection (17.1%)
  3. Pedestrian hit while crossing mid-block without a traffic control, or jaywalking (11.5%)
  4. Vehicle proceeds straight through while pedestrian crosses at stop sign or crosswalk (6.9%)
  5. Pedestrian hit while crossing driveway or laneway (6.5%).