This collision between a vehicle and two pedestrians takes place at the intersection of Huntingdon Road and Gladwin Road in Abbotsford. It was dark, raining heavily and occurred in an unlit rural area. Sarbjit Parmar and her two childen were crossing Huntingdon northbound in a marked crosswalk when Ms. Parmar and her son were struck by a vehicle driven by Harold Rink.
Madam Justice Norell examined the circumstances of the crash which included the driver using low beam headlights and the pedestrians being dressed in dark clothing as well as entering the crosswalk without having determined the speed of the approaching vehicle and whether it would stop or not.
There is a very high standard of care on a driver approaching a marked crosswalk. I find that Mr. Rink failed to keep a proper look out and yield the right of way to Ms. Parmar while she was in the crosswalk. While I accept that the rain made visibility more difficult, I find Ms. Parmar was there to be seen.
In the judgment Mr. Rink bore the majority of the liability at 75%. The ultimate settlement for Ms. Parmar's injuryies was $573,916.45.
I read this case which typifies many of the pedestrian crossing accidents prevalent in BC. Poor visibility, rain and so on. I also recently watched the news on the case in Burnaby where a Brazilian student was killed in a pedestrian crossing which is all the more depressing.
I think a solution to all these senseless accidents would be to implement the amber flashing lights placed at a height that a car driver can easily notice from at least 100 m away; such a system exists in Kerrisdale on West Boulevard. I believe this system is powered by solar and seems to be a really neat and simple system and the flashing amber lights really catch attention especially on dark and rainy nights in Vancouver.
I wonder why more of these solar powered flashing lights are not placed on more pedestrian crossings! Surely the cost of these devices would be justified in terms of the costs paid out by Insurance Claims…
Although the legal responsibility is with the driver, no pedestrian should ever step in front of a vehicle that will likely hit them unless the driver changes his speed.
Even if the vehicle is stopped at a stop sign, is it often the best practice to walk behind the stopped vehicle in case the driver moves forward. This is especially important at side streets.
As a pedestrian, I walk as if every driver has the goal of killing me by running me over.
As a driver, it often seems that pedestrians don't even glance left and right before stepping off the curb.
The flashing lights that are activated automatically are extremely helpful, but pedestrians need to be careful.
When I was in Grade 1 in the 50s, we had a poem:
Stop, Look and Listen
Before you cross the street
Use your eyes
Uses your ears
Then use your feet.