Pedestrian safety is a grave concern for authorities in cities nationwide. A civil engineering professor at the University of British Columbia is particularly concerned because prevention efforts come too late for many. He says that the number and circumstances of auto\-pedestrian accidents are only studied after multiple injuries and fatalities take place. Only then do authorities take steps to protect pedestrians. Instead of being proactive, he says government officials are reactive.

The professor has been working on a program that provides crash information that typically takes years to collect. His system uses inexpensive cameras — or those already installed at intersections — to observe and monitor near misses. The cameras record the level of visibility vehicle operators and pedestrians have at different times of the day, and also document pedestrians and drivers who were distracted by mobile devices.

The system is already operational in Vancouver where studying the footage revealed that the only necessary change was a lower speed limit. At one location in another province, the 150 crashes over a five-year period had shrunk to just four or five between 2010 — when the system was installed — and now. Studying the camera footage showed city officials the potential dangers, and helped determine whether simple or more complex steps were necessary to save lives.

Until all applicable crossings and intersections in British Columbia are safe for pedestrians, and all motorists learn to keep a lookout for pedestrians, auto-pedestrian accidents will continue to cause serious injuries and deaths. A personal injury lawyer can help injured victims — and the families of fatal victims — by gathering the evidence necessary to establish negligence on the part of the party or parties believed to have been at fault. A successfully navigated claim may lead to a civil court awarding a monetary judgment to cover losses sustained — both financial and emotional.

Source: nextcity.org, “Cameras Can Speed Cities to Improving Pedestrian Safety“, Rachel Kaufman, Accessed on Feb. 25, 2017