One City's Drivers Have Already Killed 16 Pedestrians This Year — Are PDAs To Blame?

Here’s one city you do not want to stroll through, head-down, focused on your Ipod or Blackberry or cellphone.

Toronto, my hometown, has seen 16 pedestrian fatalities so far this year — that’s almost one every other day — since January 1, 2010.

You’re statistically most vulnerable at 3:00 p.m. on a Wednesday in November. Senior citizens are also extra vulnerable to this form of accident.

The Globe and Mail has an interesting piece trying to figure out why:

Why is it that Toronto has the highest pedestrian collision rate of any major city in Canada?

Mike Brady That’s perplexed a lot of people. What information isn’t here is the relationship between pedestrian collisions and the volume of road users moving through the community on an annual basis. All we’ve done is relate collisions to population. But what we don’t have is the ability to relate it to road users on an annual basis. I can’t tell you if there are more pedestrians in Toronto per capita than there are in Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver. We don’t have that data. For lack of a better comparison, this is what we arrived at. What I hope it’s telling us is that, as a community, we have a huge potential for improvement.

Bryan Bowen I will never forget the first time I visited Halifax. If I even turned to face the street, no matter where I was on the block, cars would quickly come to a stop and wait for me to cross. Feeling guilty for holding up traffic, I would end up crossing whether I needed to or not. Toronto motorists are, however, a generally self-interested bunch, and pedestrians would be well advised to be constantly vigilant and skeptical.

Two more died this week, killed by buses — one of them using a cellphone at the time.

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