As the number of collisions between pedestrians and vehicles rises in the Halifax area, one municipal councillor suggests it’s time to target pedestrians who break the law.
Between January and September there were 151 vehicle-pedestrian collisions, 70 per cent more than the same period last year.
Dartmouth Centre Coun. Gloria McCluskey says while pedestrians aren’t the only ones at fault, there should be greater crosswalk enforcement. She's advocating for education first, then tickets.
“Every, every day they're running across on a red light, they’re going when they're not supposed to leave the curb and just doing whatever they want to do,” she says, adding some people don’t know the law, while others can’t be bothered to follow it.
This year police have issued more than 70 tickets to pedestrians who break the rules. Fines are steep – $406.
Infractions include: moving into the path of vehicle when it’s impractical for the driver to stop (20 tickets); not pressing the pedestrian-activated beacon before crossing (eight tickets); and crossing the road outside of a crosswalk zone and failing to yield to traffic (43 tickets).
“The ticketing would stop them,” McCluskey says. “I know a man who went across by the bus stop at McDonald's and got a hefty ticket. And I bet he won't do that again.
But not everyone is convinced such a steep fine is fair for a violation such as beginning to cross when the red traffic light hand is flashing.
“You don't want people causing dangerous situations, but also I'd be kind of upset if I was fined that much for doing that,” says Matthew McAdam, a pedestrian in Halifax.