MONTREAL – It sounds so simple: look both ways before you cross the street, but it’s a message that Montreal Police are making sure gets through.
Wednesday morning they promoted their awareness campaign for the dangers of left hand turns on green lights.
The move comes after nine fatal accidents so far this year.
“We always pay attention to the people that die and of course that is the most serious ones, but what about the ones that are seriously injured?” said Montreal police spokesperson André Durocher.
“We’ve had over a thousand injuries like that at intersections so it’s a major preoccupation for us and most of them can be easily avoided by paying attention to our behaviour around intersections.”
In two months this year, pedestrians were hit by left-turning cars 75 times.
While today’s blitz was focused on informing both drivers and pedestrians, police say that often times people are oblivious to danger.
“Walking and texting which we call now ‘wexting’. It makes pedestrians totally oblivious to the environment and sometimes forgetting the fact that they’ll even add an iPod to the equation which makes it all the more dangerous,” he said.
Officers were handing out flyers with information today, even to Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.
No matter who is at fault it’s often pedestrians who are impacted the most.
“Road safety is like the food chain. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable, then the cyclists, then the vehicles then large trucks are also a preoccupation for us,” said Durocher.
Not only is it dangerous but it can cost you. Fines for not giving the right of way range from $186 for motorists to $48 for pedestrians.