Respecting Pedestrian Rights

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In the ‘Letters‘ section of this weeks The Londoner, one contributor comments about having witnessed the disgusting behaviour of five consecutive automobile operators who turned into the Wonderland Rd. S. Loblaw’s parking lot despite the presence of a disabled pedestrian on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, the letter doesn’t say whether or not the witness recorded vehicle/operator descriptions, plate numbers, and called the police. Because that’s what should have happened.

“Statistics Canada’s latest national survey on the growing number of adults and children with disabilities should send a clear message to politicians…Some 4.4 million Canadians, one out of every seven, reported having a disability in 2006, when the study was done. That’s up 21 per cent in five years…Some of the increase may be attributed to the fact that people are less inhibited about reporting their status, the agency said. The other factor is, of course, the rising number of those on the plus side of 50. Either way, the numbers cannot be ignored. And they are merely the first in a series of revealing figures expected over the next 12 months from StatsCan’s Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) …In the latest survey…for Canadians aged 15 to 64, pain was the most common form of disability, followed closely by mobility and agility limitations. For those aged 65 and over, mobility limitations were the most common…We shouldn’t need numbers to make the case. Basic respect for each other as people should be enough to bring about the changes necessary to let everyone participate as full members of communities. Yet, from the vast faceless bureaucracy to individual encounters, mainstream numbers drive decisions. It’s all about priorities.” 01

London Police Services will not lay charges against an automobile operator simply on the testimony of a wronged pedestrian. Not even when the pedestrian supplies them with descriptions and plate numbers. I know, from personal experience. And that’s why it’s incumbent upon responsible citizens to contact police and provide witness statements.

Sources:
01. 2007/12/29 – Toronto Star: 4.4 million too many to be ignored

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