It is our collective Christmas wish, here at the Now-Leader, for people to stop jaywalking.
Is it too much to ask?
We know it’s tempting to make a dash for it sometimes. Impatience is, after all, a human condition. But if you want to keep on being a human – an alive one, anyway – please resist that urge. So much depends on it.
Members of our staff have witnessed people making a run for it across busy streets like King George Boulevard rather than using a crosswalk fewer than 50 strides away.
Of course, sometimes pedestrians are injured or killed in crosswalks. But your chances of survival are much greater using one of these than hoping traffic will stop for you as you run for it, especially during rainy nights and mornings, and especially if you are not wearing reflective clothing.
A woman died on Dec. 16 after being hit by a car in Cloverdale, at the intersection of 192nd Street and 80th Avenue. Earlier that day, another woman was injured, also in Cloverdale, while crossing at the intersection of 188th Street and 56B Avenue.
The day before, a man was killed after being hit by a vehicle in the 7100-block of Scott Road. The Surrey RCMP said he’d been crossing the street mid-intersection.
So far this year, seven pedestrians have been killed in Surrey. Not all victims, of course, had been jaywalking. Nevertheless, these seven souls gone, leaving behind grieving families and friends, underlines the risk pedestrians face in Surrey and the need for drivers and pedestrians alike to be vigilant.
According to ICBC, there were 450 pedestrian-related traffic crashes in Surrey last year, 440 in 2017, 400 in 2016, 430 in 2015 and 390 in 2014.
That makes for a five-year average of 420 pedestrian crashes in Surrey annually. The five-year average for the entire Lower Mainland is 2,300.
In the years 2014 to 2018, there were 2,110 pedestrian-related crashes in Surrey and an unbelievable 11,400 in the Lower Mainland.
As a species, we have to be smarter than this.