CARNAGE ON KAMLOOPS ROADS: Spike in pedestrian deaths hard to fathom
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In 2012, four pedestrians have been killed on Kamloops roadways.
The only cities in B.C. with more pedestrian fatalities this year are Surrey, with five, and Vancouver, with 11.
According to Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned, only two pedestrians were killed in the Tournament Capital between 2007 and 2011.
He said the spike in local fatalities in 2012 is tough to understand.
“There’s no single corollary factor that uniformly links all of these,” he said.
“We know that we’ve got people who are distracted pedestrians — and you could say the same thing about some drivers.”
On Nov. 21, a woman was killed while crossing Victoria Street at Sixth Avenue in downtown Kamloops.
In July, a man was struck and killed by a vehicle near Cree Drive and Salish Road on the Tk’emlups Indian Band reserve.
On April 28, a man was killed after being run over by what is believed to have been a tractor-trailer unit on the shoulder of the Trans-Canada Highway in Valleyview.
And, in March, a woman crossing 12th Street at Tranquille Road died after being hit by an SUV.
Add to that a string of pedestrians left with serious injuries — most recently on Dec. 5, when a 20-year-old man was left in critical condition after being run down in a Westsyde crosswalk — and, Learned said, it’s time for everyone to be more careful.
“Drivers and pedestrians,” he said.
“We understand that drivers must yield to pedestrians — that’s not disputed.
“But, the drivers have to be given a chance to see you and respond to your interest in crossing.”
Kamloops is not alone in seeing a spike in pedestrian fatalities.
According to a report released last week by the BC Coroners Service, the numbers are up across the province.
In 2011, 54 pedestrians were killed in B.C. — up slightly from 51 and 53 the previous two years.
So far this year, there have been 63 pedestrian fatalities provincially. Of those, 13 have been in the Interior.
Learned said it’s important for a pedestrian to know drivers in the area are aware of his or her intentions.
“Make eye contact with the driver,” he said.
“Make sure they know you’re there and you’re planning to step off the curb and into the lane of travel.”