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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Pedestrian Target Practice

Victoria is full of idiots in pickups and SUVs. After three incidents in two days, I wrote this to the mayors of Victoria, Esquimalt and Saanich. That was a waste of time. Mayors are kind of like washed up TV clowns: good for opening supermarkets and MCing New Years Eve bashes. One responded and yadda-yadda-ed about all that they're doing, the told me not to kick cars. Thanks, McCheese: cut the ribbon.

To the respective mayors of Victoria, Esquimalt, and Saanich, Between yesterday afternoon and lunch time today, I have had three close calls with motorists. Three times where I and three year old daughter were nearly hit by vehicles. If can happen so frequently to one person, something is wrong.

Yesterday afternoon at Town & Country (approx 4 PM), my daughter and I were using a crosswalk near Walmart between the shops and the general parking area. A man in a late model white Buick nearly hit us. Startled and angered, I kicked the car. The man stopped, got out
of the car and verbally assaulted my daughter and I. As he explained it, "He waved." after nearly wiping us out as though a conciliatory hand gesture would make up for it all. I feel he would have taken the argument further if one of the people watching from the sidewalk
didn't call to him that his yelling was upsetting my daughter.
Last night at Tillicum Mall (approx 9:45), my daughter, myself and a friend were using the marked crosswalk from parking to the London Drugs entrance. A Dominoes Pizza driver in a blue Toyota pick-up ran through the crosswalk, forcing me to pull my daughter out of the path of the truck. His response was to wave and veer into the oncoming lane. If he had been going anywhere near the speed limit or using due care and attention, this would not have happened.
At noon today, I was crossing Hillside south on Quadra using a crosswalk at the intersection with a walk signal. When I was 1/3 of the way through the intersection, a large pickup truck.sped through the intersection and straight for me and came with three feet of hitting me. Luckily he did brake, but if I had been with my daughter in this case, I would have the option of getting out of the way or pushing her out of the way; given the speed and the size of the vehicle, I don't think I would have had the option to do both.
I was walking on marked crosswalks in two of these instances and an intersection crosswalk on the third; two of the incidents happened in daylight; and the two mall incidents happened in areas where speed limits were 10 KPH and not the speed that the motorists were driving at.
I want to know what action your municipality is taking to pro-actively curb the behaviour of motorists and police their actions. While these incidents happened in Saanich and Victoria, if my
situation is representative of what's happening, there's a problem. Between the increased flow of traffic, the shorter daylight hours and the wet weather, people have to be urged to slow down and use proper care and attention. Pedestrians are not out there for target practice and I want to know how many people have to pay the price before something is done. If I had three close calls inside of one 24 hour span, how many people are not so lucky?

Thank you

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