LETTER: For pedestrians to stay safe, drivers need to drive safely

Dear Editor:

On Nov. 4, we turned our clocks back one hour as daylight time ended for another year. The Insurance Corp. of B.C. reports that there is generally a spike in accidents in the following weeks. During this period, people tend to stay awake longer and end up feeling more tired and less alert.

This certainly mirrors my experience. Last year, just after the time change, I was struck twice by cars in one week and last week was nearly run down twice in a well-lit and traffic-light-controlled crosswalk. All incidents occurred while crossing Taylor Way at Inglewood Avenue in West Vancouver around 5 p.m., with drivers turning left onto Taylor Way.

Many drivers justifiably curse people dressed in dark clothes on a dark, wet night; however, I was lit up like a Christmas tree: reflector, illuminated arm band, and a pulsating light on my chest.

While I am sure that the four older women who either hit or would have hit me are delightful people who would apologized if we bumped shopping carts in the supermarket, none of them even rolled down their window to see if I was OK as I removed my bent and broken umbrella from their grill, untangled myself from their side-view mirror, or jumped out of the way as their car accelerated towards me.

In addition to obviously not having the vision or alertness to be driving after dark, I can only conclude that these drivers were unaware of the rules of the road. Just as you have to yield to oncoming traffic when turning left on a green light, you have to yield to pedestrians crossing on the walk signal as you make that left turn. If you injure or kill someone in these circumstances, you will be at fault and it will mess up your life as well as that of the person that you hit.

While a driver may be distracted or struggling to see on a dark evening, it is absolutely terrifying for a pedestrian to have 4,000 pounds of steel bearing down on them while doing everything possible to safely cross the road.

Like you, I just want to get home in one piece at the end of the day.

David Sheffield
West Vancouver

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