The crossing at dusk. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

Andrea Rondeau column: Someone honked at me for stopping for a pedestrian in a crosswalk

What does it take to not see both a pedestrian in the crosswalk and the flashing lights?

One morning this week while I was driving to work, I stopped for a woman who was walking in a marked crosswalk, amber lights flashing, on Canada Avenue.

No big deal right? This is driving regulations 101.

But not for the impatient and oblivious person behind me who honked their horn at me for stopping. A glance in my rearview mirror showed the person had even pulled out a little to the left, as if to try to pass me. This wasn’t even one of those cases where a pedestrian is just about to start into the crosswalk and a driver doesn’t really have time to stop. The woman was well into the crosswalk. What does it take to miss both her and the flashing lights?

Later in the week a woman sent me a letter to the editor, complaining that her daughter had almost been hit in a similarly marked crosswalk in Lake Cowichan not once, but three times.

I’ve personally had similar experiences as a pedestrian while walking around Duncan. Specifically on Jubilee Street north of the core drivers often pick up speed to where they are unable or uninterested in stopping for people using the numerous crosswalks that connect the side streets.

And that’s just the normal run of the mill drivers ignoring or not seeing pedestrians.

This month RCMP officers have written more than 40 tickets for distracted driving, with 16 being handed out to people with cell phone in hand on March 28 alone. That’s a $578 fine for the first offence. You’d think the threat of that hit to the bank account would be more than enough to get people to leave their phones alone while they’re behind the wheel. But I guess people just don’t think they’re going to get caught.

One can only imagine how little attention these cell phone junkies are paying to crosswalks and pedestrians.

I look at it like this: nothing is so important that it can’t wait until I can either pull over, or get to my destination. It’s not that long ago that nobody had a phone in their car, period. Somehow we all survived. It is not a necessity that you answer your phone while driving, it is an indulgence. Are you such a slave to your device, so addicted to its various notificiations that you’re willing to risk your pocketbook, and your life and the lives of others to check your screen?

Set yourself free, my friends. If you find it too tempting to have your phone within reach while you’re behind the wheel try putting it in the trunk. Out of sight, out of mind.

You don’t want to hit the front page of the paper because you’ve hit another person or vehicle.

Just Posted

Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks eliminating fish farming in open ocean pens

May stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

To burn or not to burn?

Vancouver Island authorities take a patchwork approach to wrestling with the issue of woodsmoke

Cruise ships leading culprits in rising greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point: report

The GVHA released its Emissions Inventory Report just days after City asks for restrictions

Guardians leaving parks on Vancouver Island’s south coast for good

Juan de Fuca Park Watch folds due, in part, to people not carrying cash any more

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

RCMP members search shore along Stories Beach near Campbell River

Ground search not thought to be related to Oct. 16 homicide: RCMP

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses stemming from a raid earlier this year at Island property

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to January

Most Read