Accidents happen but what is going on in Kamloops with the number of pedestrians being hit lately? It seems to be nearly a daily occurrence that we hear of such accidents over the police scanner this month.
An investigation continues into the most serious, in which a 67-year-old woman died when she was struck in a downtown crosswalk in dark and rainy conditions Wednesday. The 62-year-old driver of the pickup truck was prohibited from driving.
The following evening, an on-leash dog died after it was hit while crossing the street in Aberdeen with its owner. The driver didn't stop.
Earlier this month, a 62-year-old suffered non-life-threatening injuries after he and his son entered a North Shore crosswalk. The driver told police the crosswalk looked clear, but the pedestrians figured there was too much traffic for the car to turn, so ventured forth. The younger man was able to jump out of the way but not his father.
Two days earlier on the North Shore, a 53-year-old woman was taken to hospital in critical condition after she was hit by an 87-year-old driver. He said he was momentarily distracted and it was too late to stop by the time he noticed the woman on the road.
Drivers constantly complain about university students jaywalking across Summit Drive rather than taking the safer route and heading for the crosswalk - and fear it's a tragedy waiting to happen.
It would be easier if there was some kind of pattern in the accidents but they are all at different locations, with victims and drivers of different ages . . . the only common thread is a couple have been in the dark.
We are given common sense reminders when daylight savings time ends that the shorter days and unpleasant winter weather requires heightened vigilance from both those behind the wheel and on foot, but perhaps it's a reminder that bears repeating.
For drivers, slick roads require longer stopping times, so slow down. Make sure your tires have the proper tread and use extra caution during busy times of day when more people are out and about.
Pedestrians need to harken back to lessons learned in grade school - probably the most important being to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before trying to cross, even if you're in a crosswalk and there are flashing lights overhead. If walking at night, wear bright colours and carry a flashlight to better light your way and make you more visible.
And for both drivers and pedestrians, put down your cellphone and pay attention when you're on the road. Your life and those of others around is more important than that call.
© Kamloops Daily News