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The safety dance: Crosswalk safety still sadly up to pedestrians

Prevent cars from hitting you by attending this community bbq.


Don't walk, basically ever.
  • Don't walk, basically ever.

As the seasons change from wintery hell to blistering heat, so too do causes of pedestrian injuries morph from unsafe sidewalks to traffic collisions. It must be summer.

Yesterday, a 40-year-old woman was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Hollis and Morris. The police say she received minor injuries to her hand and knee, and was treated by EHS at the scene. The 45-year-old male driver who hit her with his car was issued a ticket for failing to yield.

If you’ll recall the events of last summer, then you’ll remember Halifax drivers are really bad at not hitting human beings in crosswalks. It sadly looks like the trend might continue. Forty-nine percent of vehicle/pedestrian collisions since January 1 have occurred in crosswalks. That’s actually down since the same period last year (at 64 percent), but it’s still 65 pedestrians injured this year walking in the one part of the road they’re supposed to be safe. Two people have already died, and there’s a lot of pedestrian-friendly weather to come.

In an effort to reverse the tide, Halifax Police, Heads-Up Halifax, Halifax Transit and the Halifax Cycling Coalition will be hosting a Traffic Safety Celebration (along with corporate partner TELUS, because everything needs a corporate partner now) at Victoria Park this weekend.

Saturday, May 30, residents can attend a community barbeque from noon to 1:30pm (while supplies last) and “participate in fun kids activities with face painting and a balloon artist.”

Reflective face paint and large balloons are effective ways to get noticed by drivers (and everyone else).

There will also be a performance by local dancers from national youth group UNITY, who will lead a “‘Safety Dance’ beat box” performance and teach kids “breakdancing moves linked to safe crosswalk habits.”

It is, in short, a fun, vibrant event to once again beat it into the heads of pedestrians that they take great personal risks while walking and cycling. Volunteer “Smart Mobs” will even be scouring the downtown “to recognize and celebrate pedestrians demonstrating safe crosswalk techniques.”

Problem drivers aren’t likely to attend these events. Particularly because none of them would consider themselves a problem driver. Which is why all the crosswalk safety training in the world is hilariously useless against a single drunken commuter or distracted tweeter.

Still, balloon artist.

Halifax Traffic Safety Celebration at Victoria Park
Saturday, May 30, 12:00pm—1:30pm

Victoria Park, corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street

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