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Man dies after being hit by car

Emergency crews work on a Surrey man after he was hit by a car. He later died in hospital. - Shane MacKichan/Photo
Emergency crews work on a Surrey man after he was hit by a car. He later died in hospital.
— image credit: Shane MacKichan/Photo

A man has died after being stuck by a car in Newton.

On Monday at 2 p.m., a 52-year-old Surrey man was crossing 128 Street near 83 Avenue when he was hit by a southbound Acura.

He was not crossing at a marked crosswalk.

A car in the slow lane was stopped for the pedestrian, however the Acura, which was in the passing lane, continue through and struck the man was he crossed.

The 17-year-old driver of the Acura remained on scene and was cooperating with police. Drugs or alcohol are not believed to be contributing factors in the accident. Speed has not been ruled out as the investigation is ongoing.

The pedestrian was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

It's the sixth death on Surrey roads this year, three of which involved pedestrians.

It's in keeping with a historic high percentage of pedestrian deaths in Surrey, which have represented half of the road fatalities.

Regionally, the average is 30 per cent pedestrian involvement, and provincially, it's 15 per cent.

The bottom line, police say, is the public – both drivers and pedestrians – need to get educated on road awareness.

This year, Surrey RCMP launched a blitz called "Just Don't Jaywalk," and in the last two months handed out 350 citations to people failing to used marked crossings.

By comparison, Vancouver handed out 334 jaywalking tickets in all of last year.

Police say there are several factors leading to the carnage on Surrey roads.

Among them are:

• Speed: Both pedestrians and drivers aren't leaving enough time to get to their destination. Drivers are travelling above the posted speed limit, and pedestrians aren't taking the few minutes it takes to get to a crosswalk, opting instead to jaywalk.

• Distractions: Again, both drivers and pedestrians are paying attention to things other than the road. Drivers are spending time on cellphones, tuning radios, and all matter of distractions, while pedestrians are often also distracted by mobile devices.

"Although we always blame the distraction on drivers, pedestrians have to make sure they are not distracted as well," said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet.

• Intersection awareness: Drivers have to be extremely aware of a multitude of things at intersections. Often, drivers are not watching for the unexpected, such as a pedestrian stepping off the curb. Eye contact is crucial to both drivers and pedestrians so that each is comfortable with what the other is doing.

Paquet says one of the most serious mistakes a driver can make is leave the scene of the accident. The humanitarian reason for staying is your call for assistance could save the life of the person you hit.

The personal reason is, if you leave the scene of an accident, you are guilty of hit and run. What was an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act (punishable by a ticket) becomes a criminal matter and could involve jail time.

Surrey Mounties continue to hammer home the above messages by handing out citations to people violating the law.

While they are highly criticized by people receiving those tickets, in the end, they say, it will end up saving lives through education.

And from the high number of pedestrian fatalities, they point out Surrey could do some learning.

@diakiw

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