Pay attention when driving – and walking

Surrey RCMP Corporal Bert Paquet notes that in the "vast majority" of traffic collisions police deal with on our local streets, a "human decision" is at the root of the crash.

This past spring, the RCMP launched a "Just Don’t Jaywalk" education and enforcement campaign after 47 per cent of Surrey’s fatal crashes in 2013 involved pedestrians and cyclists.

But earlier this week, three pedestrians were struck while using crosswalks and a fourth was hit while walking her dog beside a road.

Can’t blame these on jaywalking. Consider the known "shouldn’t have" human decisions that contributed to these crashes.

First, the crash in South Surrey that put a 66-year-old woman in hospital.

The 17-year-old driver shouldn’t have been speeding, as alleged, and as a novice driver had four passengers too many, with not enough seatbelts to go around. It’s fortunate more people weren’t injured.

She slammed her SUV into a car that shouldn’t have been parked illegally at the shoulder.

She passed on the right: Last month, a White Rock man died when his Mini Cooper slammed at high speed into a John Deere excavator parked off-road in the 4600-block of 152nd Street. He too had passed on the right.

In Whalley, the driver of the pickup truck should have known to stop at the crosswalk when another vehicle had already stopped in the curb lane. But he didn’t stop, and as a result two young women are in hospital, with serious injuries, after being thrown 15 metres.

It’s easy to point fingers -who among us hasn’t done something stupid in traffic?

But those inclined to reckless driving and shirking traffic laws – which are there for good reason – to win an extra 30 seconds should be more mindful of how their split-second decisions can have life-long consequences.