Seriously, where’s the fire?
Pedestrians in Toronto should probably stay home until spring. Or wait actually, sorry—drivers in Toronto should stay home indefinitely to give pedestrians and cyclists a chance at survival.
At last count, Toronto Police OPS tweeted about 22 separate collisions in which vehicles struck pedestrians last night alone. Police also noted some vehicle-cyclist run-ins in the same time span.
There is one reported fatality so far.
Additional injuries from that same time period are said to be life-threatening.
And before you get all “b-but pedestrians are in my way,” park your ironically chosen 1991 Toyota Corolla and crank up this PSA for a sec: I guarantee your sick new job and your buddies at that fresh cafe on Ossington can wait for you a few minutes longer. It’ll be so much shorter than your prison sentence for manslaughter. For reals.
Map of pedestrians hit by cars in past 24h. via /r/toronto https://t.co/iUKJXuAe2i
— James A. Hess (@JamesAHess) December 7, 2016
Denise Balkissoon summarized our current state of affairs in the Globe and Mail almost a week ago when she wrote, “If something can be said to be normal because it happens a lot, then dead pedestrians are pretty normal.”
Her statement referred to the record number of pedestrians killed on Toronto streets so far this year and was before last night’s debacle.
As for last night, I get it. It was pouring rain. It was dark out. Some cars had their brights on. Some pedestrians’ clothes weren’t fluorescent. You had to text someone right then and there was no time to activate your windshield wiper.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve exited a streetcar or crossed an intersection legally only to have some douchey driver almost clip my side as he comes barreling past me.
To be fair, it’s not always some entitled kid or middle-aged cartoon character being irresponsible. Accidents (and platitudes) happen.
Bad weather shows up. People dart out into traffic before anyone has a chance to react. The most well-intentioned and responsible among us can have the worst luck. People get hurt despite everyone’s best efforts.
I know good, intelligent and empathetic people who have found themselves in similar circumstances.
So it’s critical that you stop, breathe and pay attention the minute you get behind the wheel.
Slow and steady.
Or stay home. Call in sick. Maybe ride the TTC. Either way, blast some tunes and dance like nobody’s watching. We’ve all done it.
I zone out all the time. Every day. That’s why I decided years ago I just wouldn’t drive. My not driving is safer for all of us.
So please just do me this one favour. Watch where you’re going and don’t hit me. K? Sweet, thanks, guys.
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