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LETTER: Cellphones a hazard for pedestrians

A person who is distracted by a cellphone while walking has a greater chance of being involved in a pedestrian accident, with potentially fatal consequences. It is estimated that distracted walking injuries make up less than one per cent of all traffic accidents, but account for nearly 45 percent of traffic-related deaths.

It’s tragic when one of our children or anyone is struck down in a crosswalk. However, I have almost hit numerous people over the last couple years who are reading their cellphone, not looking where they’re going and just walking blindly into traffic.

I’m currently on holidays and I’ve seen almost four near-collisions between pedestrians and cars because the pedestrians were reading their cellphones. Speed limits may not be the problem, cellphones may be the problem.

The irony of course will be as the speed limits are lowered those offenders who are reading their phones and stepping out into the abyss will feel more empowered to do so as they know the cars are coming slower. Unfortunately, they just don’t see them coming. At any speed.

And the best part is I witness numerous cyclists peddling in traffic reading their cellphones. Is it safer to ride a bicycle and operate a cellphone than to drive a car? I think not.

Stop treating the symptoms in this country and start treating the root causes of issues.

I suggest they put chirping noises at every crosswalk so the moment somebody approaches, it overrides their ability to be scanning their cellphone looking for directions and walking into the traffic.

Or better yet put cellphone blockers on every street corner before you start meddling with the speeds and configurations of the roads and all the other unnecessary things that do nothing but frustrate drivers and make them go faster.

Doug Coulson