B.C. pedestrian caught on camera being struck by car raises safety concerns
WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO: 67-year-old survives being hit by car
A dashboard camera showing a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in Victoria Wednesday is a stark reminder that while fatal auto accident rates are going down, pedestrians deaths haven't changed in five years.
In the video, a 67-year-old man crossing the street in broad daylight on a green light is struck and thrown onto the hood of a car, landing in the street.
Miraculously, the man gets to his feet and although he was taken to hospital, suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Victoria Police Const. Neil Lundin says the accident clearly shows just how careful pedestrians need to be because drivers aren't always paying attention.
"It's another example of pedestrians, in this city, even if they have a walk sign ... drivers have to be very careful to clear that walk sign before they make that left turn."
The man was lucky, but many are not. While the numbers of driver and passenger deaths on B.C. roads are trending downward, being a pedestrian in B.C. is just as deadly as it was five years ago.
BC Coroners Service spokeswoman Barbara McClintock says about 55 pedestrians are killed in B.C. every year.
"When we looked at pedestrians, we found it hadn't decreased at all — totally a flat line," she said. "Very little change from year to year."
Half of pedestrians hit in intersections
The numbers show half the cases involving fatalities and pedestrians take place in intersections where the pedestrians are hit by vehicles turning left despite having the right of way.
ICBC spokeswoman Colleen Woodger says drivers concerned about other drivers often don't see pedestrians until it's too late.
"You're watching that oncoming traffic," she said. "We really want you to take a look at the crosswalks — look twice to make sure that pedestrian isn't crossing in that crosswalk."
A disproportionate number of victims are older, may move a little slower or run out of time before the lights change. Many wear dark clothing. ICBC says most pedestrian-involved accidents occur between November and February.
"I notice that I am always wearing dark clothing, maybe it's a winter thing?" said pedestrian Rose McMillan.
Others admit to being distracted by their cell phones while crossing the street.
"I have even been guilty of that myself, right?" said pedestrian Jodi Mycock.
The BC Coroner's Service says now that it's clear pedestrian deaths aren't going down, it plans to work with safety specialists to try and do something about it.
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