Current issue of crosswalk at White Oaks and Jalna.
“There is a crosswalk, but it is up to the stop sign. Most people who get off the bus will come behind the bus to cross to the mall, or vice-versa to get to the Jalna library and they will not use the sidewalk,” says Ward 12 councillor, Elizabeth Peloza.
XFM News could witness how dangerous this type of actions can be. Peloza would like to send a friendly reminder to all drivers in the start of the winter season.
“Now with Christmas shopping upon us, we are asking drivers to be more mindful. Specially if pedestrians are outside walking and carrying extra bags from Christmas shopping. It’s cold, people might be tempted to rush because they don’t want to be outside longer than they need to be.”
“Give yourself extra time. If you are running late, take your time; people understand specially now as we transition into winter. Be more careful as some drivers might not have their snow tires yet.”
What does the law requires you to do as a driver or pedestrian in crosswalks?
Pedestrian crossovers can be confusing. Rights are very different whether they are located on private, or public property. In the city of London, there were 27 deaths related to pedestrians crossings in 2017, 12 less than in 2016.
“Crossovers apply to the city’s streets and are enforced by the Highway Traffic Act, private crossings are not,” says Shane Maguire, Division Manager of Traffic Control in the city of London.
Pedestrian crossovers are fairly new to the city of London and the province. According to the Highway Traffic Act, pedestrians have now the right of way as soon as they indicate the intention to cross, instead of when they begin crossing.
“For drivers, wait until the pedestrian crossing is completely clear. Sometimes it’s a little confusing, if pedestrians are half way across and it’s not your lane, well the Highway Traffic Act says you must wait. For pedestrians, don’t count on drivers stopping.”
Maguire says part of the issue of pedestrian crossovers in the city it is because they are new and some drivers aren’t sure how to respond. He adds drivers can only be ticketed if caught by police disobeying pedestrian’s rights in a public crossover. For private property, there’s not that enforcement.
“The walking man is a regulatory sign and that’s what is needed in the streets for police to be able to enforce the law. Another one is the ladder crosswalk with ‘shark teeth’ which means then is when you have to stop.”
Failing to yield at pedestrian crosswalks, school crossings, and crossovers could cost you a fine up to $1,000 and 4 demerit points.
“Remember these are vulnerable users, you are protected in your car, they are not. Keep an eye on children, they may not cross, or act the same way as an adult, they are more impatient than how an adult would be.”
Fanshawe student responds to crosswalks on campus.
Fanshawe College students also have it hard in one of the crossovers on main campus. Many say drivers are not respectful and push them on to cross faster, but for Shubhankar this hasn’t happened yet.
“My experience has been nice so far, since I have been in this country. Whenever I need to cross, if there is traffic, people do stop and let me cross the road. I find the people very kind and polite here,” says mechanical engineering student.