Pedestrians have role in safe roads

Resident urges cyclists and walkers to be responsible on local roads

I have noticed lately that there seems to be more and more accidents involving pedestrians in the media.

I find that it is generally portrayed that some vicious, careless driver is responsible for the tragedy. The pedestrian, of course, is always an innocent victim.

What bothers me is that there never seems to be any accountability on the pedestrian. Please don’t get me wrong, anyone being injured is indeed a tragedy and by no means do I feel that they deserved such a terrible fate.

I grew up on East Hill and enjoyed walking down what I always felt were the back roads towards Hillview Elementary. I was well aware that there was no sidewalk for pedestrians and would always move off the road and into the shoulder that is gravel and weeds when a vehicle approached.

I have since moved from the area but travel the road frequently to visit the home I grew up in where my parents still reside. Every time I drive down that road there are pedestrians walking two, three or four abreast with no regard for oncoming traffic. They walk, or run, with dogs, and double strollers on the road, chests puffed out in a confrontational manner staring at the driver, as if to say, “run me over, I dare you.” The driver is forced to move into the other lane into oncoming traffic, or, come to a complete stop in the middle of the road while they pass. People have become so overly confident, that they feel they are untouchable because they know that the driver is always at fault.

My frustration came to a breaking point recently when I was travelling down Mutrie Road with my two children in the car. Two women were jogging side by side down the road and made no effort to move as I approached them and a blind corner.

I was left with choice to move over into the opposite lane with no visibility of traffic approaching, or stop.

Of course running them over was not an option. I slowed considerably to allow the runners to move off the road and allow me to pass.

One woman did, and the other ran out even closer to me, motioned for me to go around and threw her arms up in disgust as I passed on choosing not to drive myself and my children into the opposite lane.

I can’t understand why the confrontation is necessary and I experience it almost every single time I travel that route. It is simple, move to the side of the road when a vehicle approaches and resume running down the middle of it if you please once it passes. I’m quite certain, ‘share the road,’ doesn’t mean run down it like you own it.

Someone is going to get hurt and we will have yet another tragic story of a perhaps not so innocent pedestrian injured or killed.

 

Chelsea Hagen

Vernon

 

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