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An interesting judicial decision

We have often argued that responsibility for injury prevention involves many jurisdictions. In a recent court decision in Canada, the court appeared to agree. The case of a child who was rendered paraplegic following a car crash was influenced by the Walking Security Index developed by Professor Wellar, which takes account of road features, traffic volume, and driver compliance with traffic laws in rating intersections for pedestrian security. Accordingly, the $12 million award in damages was based on the jury’s conclusion that the city was 45%, the driver 35%, and the former police chief 20% responsible for the “accident” (submitted by Barry Pless).

On jaywalking...

The implication of the term “jaywalking” is that the individual is not showing sufficient “respect” for the power of motor vehicles and the frequency of lapses in attention of those piloting them.

“...it is all about the asymmetry of power on our streets (which) ... results in the law requiring pedestrians always ... to yield to motorists (and cyclists). In fact, “in many jurisdictions, it is not enough for the pedestrian to yield; crossing anywhere without an active or passive ‘control’ is simply forbidden even if there is no ‘traffic’ ... to make the crossing dangerous” (abridged from Pednet). (Submitted by Barry Pless, who notes that all of this is a pity because he remains convinced it is safer to cross mid-block than at intersections with lights or stop signs that are not adequately enforced.)

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