A Neon Sign of the Times

By Jason Leach
Published February 02, 2007

First, let me start by saying I was almost killed crossing York Blvd yesterday.

Luckily I saw the crazy speeder in the nick of time and was rewarded with two middle fingers as the driver and his passenger roared by a mere couple of feet from me.

Hamilton pedestrians were already scolded several months ago not to wear iPods when out walking or cycling. Now, after a man is hit and killed by a pickup truck while crossing the street, the issue is which colours we can or cannot wear.

Police says [the victim] was using a walker and it was snowing lightly at the time.

They add speed was not a factor and that the victim was dressed in all black.

I realize there is common sense in wearing bright colours or using blinking lights when cycling at night, but very few people can be expected to take off their sweater and put on a bright orange jacket just to go to the corner store for some milk.

I mean, sure, I want that bowl of cereal but not if I have to go get changed and turn it into a big ordeal.

Sadly, that might be exactly what you need to do in Hamilton if you are traveling any other method than by automobile.

Folks in Toronto or Seattle will probably scratch their heads or even get a chuckle if they read this. After all, I don't think residents in those cities have to dress up as walking neon signs just to go some shopping or do personal errands.

But if you value your life in Hamilton, you will.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 02, 2007 at 22:40:16

When the police report that speed was not a factor, they are helping to promulgate a legal fiction that violates the laws of physics. At speeds below about 25 km/h, the rate of death due to collision with a vehicle essentially falls to zero. Above this speed, the death rate rises exponentially.

With speed limits of 50 km/h and 60 km/h on city streets designed to operate as multi-lane thoroughfares, we have essentially decided that we're willing to accept a certain number of inevitable, predictable deaths each year in exchange for the rest of us arriving at our destinations a little bit more quickly.

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By kanuguy (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2007 at 14:33:31

" Police says [the victim] was using a walker and it was snowing lightly at the time.
They add speed was not a factor and that the victim was dressed in all black."

Correct me if i'm wrong; isn't the speed limit on Main 50km/hr and if so in all likely hood the speed the truck was travelling was at least 10Km over whatever limit (try adhering to the speed limit on the King/Main/Wilson/Canon freeways and I'll ask the pope to bestow sainthood on you)

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