The longer I drive and walk in Regina, the less safe I feel. Tuesday of this was particularly bad.
Just after the morning rush, a 24 year old woman was struck by a vehicle and seriously hurt on Victoria Avenue, right by the Hotel Saskatchewan. It appears that one vehicle stopped for her as she attempted to cross the busy street, but another one didn’t and the result was terrible.
A few hours later I’m driving to the YMCA on 13th Avenue. Smack dab in the middle of the intersection at 13th and Smith, which is controlled by a two-way stop, a man was pouring gas into his pickup truck from a jerrycan. He had run out of fuel and simply couldn’t go six feet further!
He also seemed totally oblivious to the traffic hazard he was causing. Thirty feet further west, a school bus was picking up pre-school kids from the Y, and he was stopped in a driving lane with no warning signs or flashers deployed.
Illegal parking of that sort is an epidemic in Regina. The one-way streets in the charming but strange neighbourhood where I have lived for the past five years have always been an accident waiting to happen it seems. I long ago lost count of the number of bicycles that I have almost collided with as they approached me the wrong way on a one-way street.
Knockdowns of pedestrians are all too common in the Queen city. Many parties can shoulder at least part of the responsibility. I’m not into blaming the victim, but some folks who walk the streets in this community seem convinced that they are protected by some kind of special angel. They jay walk all over the place, and step out from between parked cars without the slightest glance in either direction.
They step out at pedestrian crosswalks without pushing the button to get vehicles to stop.
The city could doing a much better job of designing crossings. Warning signs and flashing lights should be much more prominent.
Motorists make illegal turns all over the place. They run red lights as if they have some kind of ‘entitlement’. They talk on handheld cellphones which has been against the law for quite a while now.
I see little evidence that Regina’s finest are doing much to improve the situation. They seem to spend a huge amount of time ‘fundraising’ with speedtraps.
In general, I’m left with the feeling that traffic safety is not a high priority. Presumably the message is driven home to young school children, but why isn’t it a priority of some sort with the rest of us?
In the abscence of better awareness programs, let us all try to be more careful out there .. please !