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Police blitz targets pedestrians

Police are urging driver caution and pedestrian responsibility in hopes of reducing the carnage on Surrey streets, as people on foot continue to get struck by cars at an alarming rate.

During the month of March, Surrey RCMP's traffic section is conducting an awareness and enforcement campaign aimed at pedestrian traffic safety.

The campaign comes after a rash of serious accidents, two of which sent a 16-year-old girl and a man 56, to hospital, where they remain in critical condition.

“Although traffic fatalities in our region have decreased, we continue to see pedestrian involved motor vehicle collisions occur throughout the city, especially in high traffic locations,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger.

Last year, one in four fatal collisions involved pedestrians.

In one particularly nasty stretch of King George Boulevard, between 96 and 100 Avenues, there have been three pedestrian fatalities in two and a half years.

“Pedestrians are reminded to cross the street at controlled intersections or marked crosswalks, always stop to see if vehicles are stopping before they cross, and consider wearing light coloured clothing with reflective capabilities,” Grainger said. “Drivers are reminded to slow down, pay attention to their surroundings especially in adverse weather conditions, and refrain from using hand-held devices.“

City of Surrey engineers are waiting on the results from a report indicating how many people are J-walking in that area and have a planned response of crossings down King George.

The first will be a pedestrian crossing at 97A Avenue, followed by a full signalized light at 98B Avenue.

In future, as the City Centre develops further, there will be a pedestrian crossing at 101 Avenue, lighted crossing at 103 Avenue and eventually another at 106 Avenue.

"It's definitely high on our priority list for pedestrian safety in the City Centre," said General Manager of Engineering Vincent LaLonde.

Meanwhile,  Surrey RCMP Traffic Section will be issuing tickets for such infractions as pedestrian jaywalking, crossing against lights or walks signals, and drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians. The fines for these types of infractions range in upwards of $109.

@diakiw

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