It’s not easy being a pedestrian. Our provincial driving manual Learn to Drive Smart devotes an entire chapter to the concept of See – Think – Do Method.
See: The pedestrian waiting to cross the street in the intersection. Think: There are no lines painted on the pavement, but it is an unmarked crosswalk and I have to stop for the pedestrian. Do: Yield the right of way to the pedestrian and allow them to cross the street.
In a perfect world, drivers would have no hesitation in stopping for pedestrians, pedestrians would use a crosswalk properly and the authorities would construct roads to facilitate both.
As a driver, I know that I find the decision to stop for pedestrians can be difficult at times. The tendency is to carry on through rather than change what you are doing. This failure can be seen in many other driving situations such as following the slow down, move over rules or by passing other traffic on the right.
While there are rules governing how pedestrians must conduct themselves, there is a strong onus on the driver to watch out for them on the highway. It is better to stop for a pedestrian when you do not need to than to drive on when you should not.