Police say 16 pedestrians hit over two days, one of them killed
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:08PM EST
A rash of collisions in Toronto has left at one pedestrian dead and at least 15 more hurt in the last two days, police say.
The latest victim is a 10-year-old girl who was taken to hospital with head injuries Thursday morning after being hit in the city's east end.
The woman who died took a fatal step off a curb Wednesday morning, and unwittingly walked into the path of a truck.
Police say there is usually a spike in the number of pedestrian-related accidents this time of year.
It's just after the end of daylight time so darkness comes earlier, and pedestrians start to wear heavier, darker clothing that may make them hard to spot, or could block their vision.
Toronto police Sgt. Tim Burrows said the heavy rain and stiff winds in the city over the past couple of days are likely contributing factors as well.
"Pedestrians sometimes want to get out of the elements really quick," he said.
"They may sacrifice their own personal safety doing that, not taking that extra precaution of stopping, looking, listening -- the good basic safety principles that protect us all."
Pedestrians in downtown Toronto on Thursday -- including some who were caught jaywalking -- said people need to take more care when they cross the street, whether in broad daylight or darkness.
"You have to be aware of your surroundings so I have to rely more on my eyes when I'm walking around with headphones on," said Tim Brown, who was about to legally cross the street with large headphones covering his ears.
He knows he could be taking a risk, but said it is his choice to listen to the radio while he walks.
"At the end of the day, everybody is responsible for their own safety," he said. "I don't think there's anything the police can do to make it any better."
May Seto said she teaches her teenage daughter Olivia to never assume a car can see her in time to stop, but to also take extra care at night. Wearing reflectors can help, she added.
"I'm a long-distance runner. If I run at nighttime (I use) reflectors," said Seto. "It's our own responsibility, it's not the driver."
She said many of her neighbours wear reflective armbands when they walk their dogs.
Stephanie Charitar said pedestrians need to do their part, but the city needs to be faster at fixing burned-out street lights that could create dangerous conditions.
"That's not helping at all either ... It does make a huge impact on the street (visibility)," she said.