Hamilton suffered another pedestrian death yesterday, when a 78-year-old woman was driven over by a U-Haul while walking through a U-Haul business parking lot.
No one has been charged in her death. According to the Spectator article, however, Hamilton Police spokesperson Terri-Lynn Collings "warned pedestrians to be aware of vehicles when walking though parking lots".
This warning really gave me pause. As a driver, I always thought that I had a responsibility not to run over pedestrians.
Why was this particular warning given? Why not warn drivers to be aware of pedestrians when reversing? Why not warn drivers to be aware of pedestrians, and warn pedestrians to be aware of drivers?
Warnings issued to pedestrians only send a not-too-subtle message that if you get run over by a vehicle, it's your fault. Although these incidents are typically accidental, not homicidal, they still remind me of years gone by when, after a woman was sexually assaulted, women were warned not to wear "suggestive" clothing or to walk outdoors at night.
It's classic victim-blaming, and I don't think it's sensitive or appropriate.
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