British Columbia

Coquitlam mayor takes on distracted jaywalker in Facebook post

The mayor of Coquitlam's sarcastic Facebook post over a near-accident he had with a pedestrian while on his bike has created quite the stir.

'My deep apologies for almost striking a careless, preoccupied, selfish, rude jaywalker'

The mayor of Coquitlam says he almost hit a woman who was jaywalking and looking at her phone. (Ben Margot/Associated Press)

The mayor of Coquitlam's sarcastic Facebook post over a near-accident he had with a pedestrian while on his bike has created quite the stir. 

Richard Stewart says he was biking on Monday morning when a woman who was looking at her phone stepped off the sidewalk and jaywalked across two lanes of traffic and a bike lane without looking up. Oblivious to the traffic until the near collision, he says the woman then swore at him and told him to the watch where he was going. 

"My deep apologies for almost striking a careless, preoccupied, selfish, rude jaywalker, potentially injuring or killing one or both of us," he said on Facebook. 

"I realize the marked crosswalk was about 10m away and, therefore, inconvenient for you, as judging by the briskness of your step, you were apparently in quite a hurry."

Read the full post 

The post has received hundreds of likes and comments, most of them applauding the mayor for calling a spade a spade.

Distracted walking

Jaywalking while texting is dangerous, says Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC)

Stewart said the encounter created an "enormous amount of angst that didn't need to happen" and he wants pedestrians to realize that jaywalking, especially while texting, is dangerous. 

Coquitlam RCMP say while cyclists must do everything they can to avoid a collision, they also warn illegally crossing the street can lead to a $109 fine.

If an inattentive pedestrian causes a crash leading to serious injury or death, police say they could open themselves up to a criminal negligence charge.

Last year, a Vancouver city councillor publicly voiced his support for a distracted walking ban and a poll found the majority of Canadians are in support of similar bans. 

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