Vancouver Police are calling 2014 the safest year on record for pedestrians. So far, only one pedestrian has been killed compared to seven last year. Almost a decade ago 20 people were killed in vehicle collisions.
With about 12 per cent of people in Vancouver walking to work, the city aims to have zero pedestrian fatalities.
“Pedestrian safety has been a big priority for City Council this term, with the implementation of our first-ever Pedestrian Safety Action Plan two years ago and the goal of zero pedestrian fatalities established by Council in the Transportation 2040 Plan,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, who also chairs the Vancouver Police Board.
The City attributes safer pedestrian streets to:
- 7 million dollars invested towards pedestrian safety in the last two years including adding countdown timers, LED lighting, left-turn bays and arrows.
- Red light camera installations at the most dangerous intersection in the city threatening drivers with a $167 fine and two demerit points on your driver’s license.
- Targeted campaigns against distracted and impaired driving.
- Tougher ticketing. The VPD has written 10 per cent more tickets for distracted driving and speeding this year.
The City plans to complete pedestrian safety improvements by the end of 2014.
These aren’t the only road safety improvements Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu wants to see. “I would ask that we learn to see eye-to-eye on this issue and I mean that literally” he says. “We can save lives if drivers and cyclists make eye contact with pedestrians and pedestrians look into the eyes of the driver or cyclist who is about to cross their path.”
For more information:
- Vancouver pedestrian deaths at lowest level in 80 years: police data, Vancouver Sun
- Vancouver Takes Major Steps to Improve Pedestrian Safety, Vancity Buzz