November 29, 2017 9:07 am

Crosswalk collision fatalities prompt day dedicated to safety in Halifax

According to Halifax Regional Police statistics, 15 people died as a result of crosswalk collisions between 2012 and 2015.

Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

Five people died in 2015 as a result of crosswalk collisions.

That concerning statistic from Nova Scotia RCMP and Halifax Regional Police (HRP) is part of the reason the municipality has created a day dedicated to crosswalk safety awareness.

Crosswalk Safety Action Day is aimed at making people aware of the dangers that come with distracted commuting.

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“We want people to really focus on keeping your head up, whether you’re driving, walking, biking, skateboarding, any kind of activity,” said Nick Ritcey, a spokesperson with the city.

A municipal survey indicates more than 1,000 people have been involved in crosswalk collisions since 2012.

It’s a number both the police and municipality hope will decrease if people start paying more attention to their transportation habits.

READ: Pedestrian hit in Halifax crosswalk has life-threatening injuries, teen driver arrested

“If you’re approaching an intersection or on the road in any capacity, please keep your heads up, keep it away from your phone and let’s hope everybody can stay safe,” Ritcey said.

One of the key messages behind the Heads Up campaign, a municipal initiative, is to break down some misconceptions people may have around crosswalk rules.

WATCH: Halifax council to debate crosswalk safety guidelines

One example is the assumption that pedestrians are allowed to enter a crosswalk once the hand light is flashing or a countdown timer is flashing. That belief is false, according to HRP.

Police say entering the crosswalk during those times is not allowed but if you’ve already started to cross, you’re permitted to finish.

Between 2012 and 2015, 15 people died as a result of crosswalk collisions, according to police statistics.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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