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Personal injury lawyer advocates for safer roads following multiple pedestrian collisions


The number of collisions involving pedestrians in Waterloo Region is raising concerns about safety on the streets.

A lawyer is pushing for municipalities to address and examine how to better reduce danger on the roads. The push comes days after a collision in Cambridge where four people were hit while crossing an intersection.

"What we see on our end is the huge cost that someone being injured entails on their family, on their home lives, on their business, on their employers, on their communities and healthcare systems," said cycling advocate and managing partner at The Biking Lawyer, David Shellnutt.

The collision happened Jan. 3, around 6:30 p.m. at Conestoga Boulevard and Pinebush Road. Police say the victims are 20, 25, 26 and 54-years-old. Two of the pedestrians were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries but police did not provide details on the condition of the two other pedestrians.

A spokesperson for three of the victims told CTV News they were hit by a truck who came from the Pinebush Station after taking a left turn on a red signal.

"We need to consider everyone who uses the roads has an equal place on it and be safe around people who are more vulnerable," Shellnutt said.

The driver of the vehicle wasn’t hurt but has been charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian.

“Here we see another example of four pedestrians, what we call vulnerable road users, hit by a single motorist who got what we think is basically a slap on the wrist,” said Shellnutt.

He adds that this recent incident prompts renewed calls for improved safety for pedestrians.

“The provincial government should pass the Moving Ontarians Safely Vulnerable Road User amendment to really increase penalties that hit and harm people on bikes or pedestrians.”

There have been more than half a dozen collisions in Waterloo Region involving pedestrians in the last month.

"We see people behind the wheel driving recklessly, driving dangerously and unfortunately not paying close attention,” Shellnutt said.

He says while infrastructure improvements continue to be essential, equal attention must be given to the behaviours of motorists.

"We really need to start thinking about automated enforcement, traffic calming measures and definitely as the City of Waterloo and the Waterloo Region is doing, more separated protected bike lanes."

The region continues to run the Safe Roads Waterloo Region Campaign. The initiative is dedicated to reducing injuries and deaths caused by traffic collisions on roads by relaying a message that everyone - drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, government and traffic enforcement – has a part to play in making roads safer.

Meantime, Shellnutt says he will continue to stand as an advocate for pedestrian safety and urge public officials to prioritize measure that address the behaviours of motorists.

He says he will also continue to push for Bill 40, The Moving Ontarians Safely Act. Top Stories

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