EDITORIAL: Watch where we’re walking

More and more, it's becoming evident that drivers are not the only ones who are distracted on the road.

Drivers distracted by their cellphones are routinely lambasted for the dangerous activity, and rightly so.

The risks of engaging in the practice are huge, even if it’s only for a moment – in short, it’s life-threatening; the second-leading cause of car-crash fatalities in B.C., according to ICBC.

But more and more, it’s becoming evident that drivers are not the only ones who are distracted on the road.

Pedestrians, too, are guilty of the practice, of not paying attention to where they are going and the dangers around them.

The fact is, pedestrians have an important role to play in their own safety, and activities such as talking and texting while crossing roads is risky business.

Too often, pedestrians can be seen simply continuing their pilgrimage across a busy intersection or crosswalk with their eyes glued to their cellphones. And while they may afford a short glance up to confirm that they have the signal to cross, they forge ahead without a second thought to checking if drivers have actually seen them.

Anyone who has been a pedestrian can attest to the reality that drivers don’t always see them, and can easily cite close calls they’ve experienced or witnessed as a result.

But by the same token, many drivers can recount incidents of pedestrians simply stepping out in front of moving vehicles, oblivious to anything save the message they’re busily composing or reading on their smartphone.

The habit can be similarly frustrating – though far less life-threatening – in stores and shopping centers, when people focused on their phones plow into those walking ahead of them.

Some of ICBC’s tips for drivers can easily be applied to pedestrians who are navigating busy streets: leave your phone alone; and if you do need to use it, pull over to a safe, out-of-the-way location to do so.

Penalties already exist for jaywalking. Perhaps additional penalties should be considered for pedestrians who put themselves and others at risk because they won’t take their eyes off their cellphones.

The bottom line is, safety is everyone’s responsibility, whether they’re behind the wheel or out for a stroll, and no text or phone call is worth someone’s life or limbs.

We would all be well-served to hone our focus.

 

Just Posted

South Surrey mom adds festive touch to late son’s Spirit Garden tree

Christmas twinkle adds ‘a little bit of joy at a difficult time’

The ‘Upside Down’ is coming to Surrey with ‘One Man Stranger Things’ parody

Charles Ross one-man act based on first two seasons of hit Netflix show

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

City of Surrey says pension benefits ‘guaranteed’ for police recruits

A National Police Federation representative says it may not be enough incentive

Surrey-area teens will have a ball at Christmas, thanks to collection effort

Realty company’s Bring on the Balls campaign now in its third year

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read

l -->