The best way to stay safe on the street this spring
The city is finally awakening from winter. With mild temperatures and sunny days coming our way, Montrealers have already begun to move from the city’s maze of underground corridors to the sidewalks outside.
As the streets get busier and we’re all hurrying from place to place, it’s easy to neglect the rules of the road. But the fact is that an act as simple as taking a peek at a cell phone can have dire consequences.
“In my opinion, texting while crossing the street is the most distracting and potentially most dangerous activity one could be doing,” says Lyne Denis, an investigator-preventionist from Concordia’s Security Department.
As Denis explains, mobile phone use is one of many things that can impair your awareness of your surroundings.
“I regularly see individuals talking on the phone — even reading a book — and slowing down to text when they are actually crossing busy streets like De Maisonneuve Boulevard West and even Guy Street.”
Before you so much as step onto the sidewalk this spring, it’s crucial to remember the importance of obeying traffic lights, not walking across the middle of an intersection and, yes, looking both ways before you cross the street — especially given the added safety concerns brought on by bicycle paths (which you should never walk along) and construction zones.
“Traffic lights are just being ignored,” Denis says. “It is not uncommon to see individuals play daredevil with cars on De Maisonneuve Boulevard or cross in the middle of the street from the J.W. McConnell (LB) Building to the Henry F. Hall (H) Building.”
In the end, she notes, pedestrians must always pay attention to their surroundings and obey the regulations that govern how we all use the street: at the least, an infraction could result in a $38 ticket.
“Sharing the street is everyone’s business,” Denis says. “It’s really all about staying safe.”
A “rules of the road” awareness campaign will soon be launched at Concordia. Visit Concordia.ca and Cspace for updates.