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If you’re driving in British Columbia these days, be warned: You’re now legally responsible for keeping careless jaywalkers alive.
Two recent developments have put the onus on drivers to watch out for people stepping unexpectedly into traffic, even if they’re not speeding.
Last week, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a lower-court ruling that found motorcyclist Leslie Plummer 40 per cent responsible for a 2002 accident that sent Kelowna high school student Shaun Walter flying. He’d stepped out heedlessly from behind a truck stopped in the adjoining lane 100 metres from an intersection near his school.
Plummer, who worked at another school nearby, was going well below the 50 km/h speed limit and had a fraction of a section to react when the teen stepped into her lane without looking. But the trial judge said that wasn’t good enough. Even though the accident happened outside of the 30 km/h school zone, Plummer should have been alert to the erratic ambling patterns of incautious young people when school gets out.
“To proceed at 40 kilometres per hour passing a stationary truck in an area know to be frequented by jaywalking students is negligent,” the judge concluded, a decision upheld unanimously by the three-judge Appeal Court panel.
The ruling comes on the heels of a Vancouver City Council’s decision last month to reduce the speed limit on a six-block stretch of busy Hastings Street, on the notorious Downtown Eastside, to 30 km/h from 50 km/h.
The area, home to many of Vancouver’s mentally ill, drug addicts and alcoholics, has a high number of car vs. pedestrian accidents as people step suddenly off the curb and wander across the street. The city looked at a number of suggested solutions, including school-style crossing guards, before settling on the speed-limit cut, even though police said speeding wasn’t a problem on Hastings.
The Appeal Court ruling against Plummer may be more significant because it puts motorists on notice they must go beyond obeying the law and anticipate even the unforeseen. Other Canadians may want to pay attention because though it applies only in B.C., Appeal Court rulings are often used as precedents in other provinces.

Thanks to the courts our insurance premiums just went up
 

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Thanks for the heads up but those rulings will never fly, here in redneck, Alberta! Hehe! :thumbup:
 

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I find that a volley of shots from my trusty sidearm will clear pedestrians from street in short order.
 

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If a jaywalker steps out in front of me he better hope I wind up in the hospital because if I don't he will when I get up off the ground !!!!!!!!!:x:trike:
 

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If I am understanding the entire post about the law change in British Columbia, I agree that it doesn't make much sense. However, when pedestrians do foolish things, such as stepping out into traffic, it is the driver's (rider's) responsibility to anticipate those happenings by slowing down, allowing more room on the right side, and covering the brake and possibly the horn button. There is no guarantee that any pedestrian is in their right state of mind, therefore the driver (rider) needs to be prepared for almost anything.
 

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I agree that being prepared is always a good tactic. Being responsible for any and everything is not reasonable (period).
 

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Recently did a ride up in the Northeast US of A.
Lots of places now have laws that Predestrians have the right of way.

Some are considerate, some are not, and will just blindly walk in front of traffic and see how slowly they can cross the road.

Really screws up traffic in places Like Lake Placid, which is a Tourist Mecca.

How did predestrians and bicycles ever gain so much power over the motorist and the highways we travel on. :shrug:
 

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A little prof that pedestrians are near the bottom of the food chain.
 
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