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Montreal pedestrians look forward to new safety measures at intersections

New year off to a bad start for pedestrian safety
WATCH: One week into the new year and already two people have been hit by cars, one fatally. Tim Sargeant has more.

There are still plenty of cases where pedestrians don’t wait for a green light to cross the road, and it’s a problem police deal with on a regular basis, one local officer says.

“We’re trying to look for ways to avoid any collisions,” Lt. Bryan Cunningham of the SPVM told Global News.

Two senior citizens were hit by vehicles during the weekend, one of the incidents proving fatal. The collisions occurred at two different intersections, police say, and are unrelated.

READ MORE: Montreal to add pedestrian crossing signals to all traffic lights

Investigators aren’t laying any blame on the drivers or the pedestrians but police are constantly trying to remind everyone to be vigilant.

“We’re trying to reach [the]  elderly because two-thirds of the deceased are elderly people,” Cunningham said.

In 2019, 24 pedestrians died in accidents — an increase from 18 fatalities in 2018, and 16 in 2017.

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“We see most of the time distraction, negligent behaviour,” Cunningham said.

In November of 2019, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced a series of new safety measures, with pedestrian lights being added to all traffic lights. The time allotted to cross the road will also be increased.

READ MORE: There have been 19 pedestrian deaths so far in 2019, according to Montreal police

Some boroughs, meanwhile, have already made changes that residents welcome.

“They put a lot of stops which are really great for pedestrians but also for bicycles,” Gaëlle Fedida, a Montreal resident, told Global News.

Others say there is an unhealthy competition between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

“Everybody seems to be against the other kind of people, and it’s not good for the city and for the people that walk like me,” Étienne Martel, a Montreal resident told Global News.

Officials are just hoping the new measures will improve pedestrian safety, avoiding a repeat of 2019.

Montreal wants to help keep senior pedestrians safe
Montreal wants to help keep senior pedestrians safe