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Pedestrian hit in crosswalk

Canmore’s mayor is concerned about the safety of pedestrians in the Town’s crosswalks following a pedestrian being hit this week. On Monday (Feb. 21) at 9:20 a.m.

Canmore’s mayor is concerned about the safety of pedestrians in the Town’s crosswalks following a pedestrian being hit this week.

On Monday (Feb. 21) at 9:20 a.m. Canmore RCMP responded to a call of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Benchlands Trail and Railway Avenue.

The vehicle was turning right on a red light and hit the pedestrian in the crosswalk. The pedestrian was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries while the male driver was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk under the Traffic Safety Act.

Mayor Ron Casey brought up the issue of crosswalk safety earlier in February saying it would only be a matter of time before somebody gets hurt as a result.

In light of the pedestrian being hit this week Casey said the issue is about education and enforcement.

“I think it is mostly that people just aren’t paying attention to crosswalks,” said the mayor. “They don’t observe them and they don’t realize if a person is in a crosswalk you cannot go through – you have to stop and stay stopped until that person exits the other side of that crosswalk.

“It is absurd we encourage people to walk and at the same time we make it unsafe for them.”

Casey said the driving public must be made aware they face a hefty fine of $575 under the use of highway and rules of the road regulations for driving through a crosswalk with a pedestrian in it.

“It is a large amount of money and to me it is something that if the public was more aware maybe they would be more willing to report these people,” said the mayor. “The general public is not aware it is their right to cross that crosswalk.”

Manager of Bylaw Services Greg Burt said his department is currently not able to enforce the laws surrounding crosswalks.

Even if a bylaw officer saw an infraction they would not be able to act he said.

Councillor Ed Russell suggested it might be time to consider expanding Bylaw’s authority to take a more active role on this issue in town.

“It seems a shame to have someone skilled and competent and trained standing there unable to do anything,” Russell said. “I would presently welcome that discussion.”

Coun. Hans Helder said he would raise the issue at the next meeting of the police committee.

Casey said he hopes to see something return to council from the committee to address enforcement of the regulations.

Coun. John Borrowman also brought up the legal responsibilities of pedestrians who enter crosswalks without looking.

Pedestrians who do not take care in crossing roads are also liable to be fined under the traffic safety act.

Pedestrians can be charged with proceeding into the roadway into the path of a motor vehicle which carries a fine of $57.


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