British Columbia

5 pedestrian deaths in 11 days prompt warning from B.C. Coroners Service

The B.C. Coroners Service has issued a public safety bulletin urging extra caution from pedestrians and motorists, after the deaths of five seniors hit while crossing the road.

B.C. Coroners Service has issued a public safety bulletin urging extra caution from pedestrians and motorists

A 78-year-old female pedestrian was hit by a school bus and killed at Park Avenue and Oak Street in Vancouver on Nov. 27. (CBC)

The B.C. Coroners Service has issued a public safety bulletin urging extra caution from pedestrians and motorists, after the deaths of five seniors in only 11 days.

The pedestrians ranged in age from 73 to 87 years old. Two were killed in Vancouver, and one each in New Westminster, Kelowna, and Oliver.

In all but one of the cases, the pedestrians were struck by vehicles making left-hand turns.

All were walking at intersections, and appear to have been following the rules, said Barb McLintock of the B.C. Coroners Service.

"Five in 11 days is really unusual. That is way too many," she said.

"We just need both drivers and pedestrians to be scanning their environment much more," especially during dark winter months, said McLintock.

Drivers need to take extra care when making left turns in traffic, she said.

"For pedestrians, make sure you're seen and can get out of the way."

Seniors over 70 years old are at more than double the risk of dying in a pedestrian incident, according to a recent review by the BC Coroners Service of 142 deaths between 2010 and 2012.


Safety tips for pedestrians

  • Wear light-coloured, fluorescent or light-reflecting clothing.
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers before stepping into the street.
  • Keep scanning for vehicles as you cross.

Safety tips for motorists

  • Take special care to watch for pedestrians when making a left turn.
  • Don't be distracted by other activities while driving.
  • Watch especially for elderly or mobility-challenged pedestrians.

– BC Coroners Service

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