South Fraser Way in Abbotsford recorded the highest percentage of pedestrian-related crashes in the city in a five-month period, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Abbotsford Police Department (APD).
Const. Ian MacDonald said 54 per cent of the crashes in the area from Countess Street to McCallum Road involved pedestrians and cyclists between June 1 and Nov. 3.
He said there were 35 collisions during that time, with 12 involving pedestrians and seven involving cyclists.
In comparison, MacDonald said the city’s second busiest traffic corridor – Marshall Road – tallied 21 collisions during the same period, with 14 per cent involving pedestrians and cyclists.
Maclure Road — the third busiest corridor – had 19 crashes, all involving only vehicles.
MacDonald said the numbers are higher along South Fraser Way because many commercial businesses line the corridor and people regularly drive, ride and walk to access those services and to travel through the centre of the city.
He said 74 per cent of the South Fraser Way crashes that involved pedestrians/cyclists occurred during daylight hours.
Police attribute these collisions mainly to people being inattentive or failing to yield the right of way.
Some of the incidents occurred when drivers were making left turns and struck pedestrians in a crosswalk.
In other cases, drivers were making a right turn and were looking only to their left to ensure traffic was clear, but did not see a pedestrian or cyclist approaching on their right.
MacDonald said pedestrians/cyclists were to blame in about half of the collisions, with some jaywalking and others stepping into traffic while being distracted on an electronic device.
He said all the South Fraser Way crashes involved some form of injury to the pedestrians/cyclists, requiring an ambulance to be called to the scene and, in some cases, the person to be taken to hospital.
“The downside is the numbers, but the upside is something can be done about it,” MacDonald said of the preventive nature of the collisions.
He said drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have a shared responsibility to prevent collisions and injuries on the roads.