By: Giulia Frisina
The Toronto Police service, along with government and corporate partners, the Ministry of Transportation and GO Transit, kicked off a weeklong campaign called “Do The Bright Thing” today at Union station.
The campaign is to reinforce pedestrian safety, encouraging people to wear bright-coloured or reflective clothing when possible. Police will be talking to people and handing out pamphlets at the subway station concourse all week according to the Toronto Police Services.
“We are telling people to be more visible, aware and alert,” said Const.Hugh Smith.
“Many pedestrian collisions involve some sort of distraction. To avoid being a victim, be aware of your surroundings at all times,” he said.
Smith told Humber News this applies to all pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and transit users. He said the number of people struck in Toronto by motorists is too high.
According to the ministry of transportation, over the past three years, an average 100 people per year are killed in pedestrian-related accidents in Ontario.
“On average there are 20 fatalities per year in Toronto,” said Smith. “About six or seven pedestrians are struck by motorists per day.”
“Pedestrians should use caution when using the roadway or near moving trains and vehicles, including buses,” he said. “ Ensuring wherever possible that they are seen by motorists. Wearing brighter clothing or reflective materials can potentially increase a person’s visibility when interacting with other road traffic.”
Const. Melanie Imrie told Humber News 80 per cent of pedestrians wear dark clothing.
“Simply wearing reflective or brighter clothing can save lives,” she said.
Toronto police have launched several pedestrian safety campaigns over the past year, including blitzes meant to educate pedestrian’s safety about the dangers of using electronic devices while crossing streets, according to Toronto Police Services.
“Always take the time to cross at designated cross walks,” said Imrie. “Make sure drivers can see you when you cross, that extra second can save your life.”