Safety Blitz Launched By Toronto Police
By Pace Law | November 3, 2014
Toronto police launched a week-long pedestrian safety awareness campaign on Monday following the time change over the weekend.As part of Step Up and Be Safe — which ends at midnight Sunday — police will be paying special attention to crosswalks, intersections and school zones with a focus on seniors.There have been 23 pedestrian fatalities this year, accounting for over 66 per cent of traffic fatalities.Nine of the fatalities have been senior citizens, representing 39 per cent of pedestrian fatalities.
Studies indicate that the first few days after a time change can increase the risk of car and pedestrian accidents. While it may be that people are more tired after a time change, the reason for increased accidents is probably due to the decrease in afternoon sunlight:
Another study, by two researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 2007, found that daylight time has a significant impact on the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles in the immediate aftermath of the time switch in the fall.People walking during rush hour in the first few weeks after the clocks fall back in the autumn were more than three times as likely to be fatally struck by cars than before the change. Time of day was a factor in the findings – there was no significant difference in pedestrian accidents at noon, but number rose around 6 p.m. after clocks were moved back an hour.The researchers, who looked at seven years of U.S. traffic statistics, also found there was a decrease in deaths when clocks spring forward.It isn’t the darkness per se that increases the number of deaths in the fall, the researchers suggested. Rather, it’s that drivers and pedestrians have spent the previous months getting used to the light conditions, and don’t immediately adjust their behaviour to account for less light during morning rush hour.
Be sure to take an extra moment at cross walks and intersections to make sure that you can cross the street safely.