Comment 94194

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted November 04, 2013 at 10:51:59 in reply to Comment 94192

I grew up in Vancouver, and can confirm that the attitude of drivers is completely different. What's strange is that, as far as I can see, the law is actually the same: motorists must stop or slow down once a pedestrian step off the curb.

Part of the problem may be that over a decade ago the traffic department removed all signs from crossings at uncontrolled intersections and simply allowed the pavement markings to fade. This was because the director at the time (Hart Solomon) himself mis-interpreted the HTA as meaning that motorists do not have to yield to pedestrians crossing at such intersections. I think it is the residue of this thinking that has led to the current passive-aggressive recommendation that the city paint crosswalks, but then put up signs saying that motorists don't need to stop (so the painted lines are some sort of decoy??).

The main point of the article is that the Hamilton drivers on the McMaster campus immediately respected the new signs and started yielding for crossing pedestrians. This suggests it is not actually all that difficult to change behaviour if the signage is clear as to who should do what. The current recommendation would just end up making things even more confusing.

If they are really worried about motorists not stopping they should put up two sets of signs:

  1. To motorists: "Stop for crossing pedestrians" (like at McMaster)

  2. To pedestrians: "Be cautious and check that drivers have seen you before crossing"

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