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Zero crashes | by Payton Chung
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Zero crashes

Montreal is roundly blaming pedestrians for dying while jaywalking. Of course, many "accidents" happen at crosswalks* and usually involve the driver violating the pedestrian's right of way, so this campaign ("go at the right place and right time") simply cannot cut accidents to the unrealistic goal of zero. The only thing I like about this is that the provincial auto insurance company is paying for the campaign; having a universal insurance pool means that they have a big incentive to reduce systemic risks rather than to try and offload those.

 

Instead, the city should adopt the Vision Zero concept: "We place the main burden for safety on system design because we recognise human weaknesses and low tolerance to mechanical force. Ultimately, no one should die or suffer serious injury in traffic." This was pioneered in Sweden and is now spreading in the USA (FHWA, Minnesota, Utah).

 

* Nearly 1,000 pedestrians were killed in America's crosswalks in 2007-08, or 10% of all fatalities; less than 1 in 4 pedestrian fatalities were for people who were explicitly jaywalking despite there being nearby crosswalks. (T4A)

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Taken on November 11, 2010