Police blanket Montreal with road safety blitz
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2012 11:31AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 7, 2012 10:20PM EST
Dozens of police officers blanketed 46 intersections throughout Montreal Wednesday in an all-out safety blitz.
Police were going after jaywalkers, drivers going through red or yellow lights, and people breaking other assorted rules of the road in an effort to get people to pay more attention while on the street.
"Just to be at an intersection while people are watching you, it gives a lot of prevention," said Motorcycle officer Sgt. Yannick Roch.
Police say intersections are the most dangerous places in Montreal, with 70 percent of deadly crashes taking place where two roads meet.
According to Roch, the most frequent victims of car crashes are older pedestrians.
That's a message that police delivered in person not only on the streets, but in retirement homes, with visits planned throughout the day to residences and community centres.
"Especially people that are 60, are older than 60 years old, and I think it's the old mentality. If they don't see cars they're going to cross even if the light is red. But the problem is they have to wait, because with the cars, with the speeding in Montreal, it's pretty dangerous."
Cecile Plourde of the seniors group FADOQ said many intersections are just not designed with the limitations of the elderly in mind.
"The problem is sometimes the light is a little bit short for them. They want to cross the street and then maybe a car it's coming even sometimes it's a bicycle too," said Plourde.
FADOQ is working with the city Montreal in an attempt to improve intersections for pedestrian safety.
Wednesday's operation began around 7 a.m. and finished about 9. Officers say they will issue a report Thursday saying how many warning tickets and fines they issued.
They expect it will be a lot.
"We see a lot of infractions," said Roch. "People that are texting while they are driving, passing through red lights, especially pedestrians that are not respecting the highway code."
The individual elements leading up to each crash are unique, but police say the ultimate causes are often similar.
"They're stressed out on the road, and they're always in a rush, and there's a lot of traffic," said Roch. "There's a lot of cars, and we have a lot of roadwork and that's the major problem. People get stressed out ."
So far this year 16 people have been killed on Montreal's streets.
The most recent serious collision was Tuesday night, when a car hit two people in a crosswalk in Lachine. Both pedestrians ended up in hospital.