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Careless motorists need signs to alert of crosswalks - Friday, September 21, 2007

RE.: "Pedestrian lights potential safety hazard"
Mountain News (Hamilton), Letters to the Editor

I agree with Mr. Rutlidge totally. I visited him and viewed the corner in question. Perhaps Hamilton should do as several of the communities toward Niagara Falls have. Here you will find attached to the pedestrian Priority System (PPS) on both sides of the street facing traffic are two (2) yellow school crossing type signs. These signs advise the motorists that this is a special crossing for pedestrians only.

Taking a step backward in time.

When the PPS lights were introduced to Hamilton, I wrote a letter to Hamilton Traffic Department and voiced my concerns that the motorists should be advised that this is a PPS crossing. The answer came back that it matters not to the motorist what type of a light it is, as long as a red ball is facing traffic. Of course red means stop.

This is fine in theory, but some motorists are very careless and will try to beat the light.

Of course the way to prevent an accident is to follow the old teachings of Elmer the Safety Elephant. Look both ways before you cross the street, Make sure that traffic has stopped. Unfortunately some pedestrians are refugees from "Star Trek", thinking that there is a forcefield around them once they enter the pedestrian crossing.

Lastly, if I had my way, I would not put PPS lights at intersections, but halfway into the block. This way there would be no misunderstanding of the type of traffic light. This of course is wishful thinking, since pedestrian will always choose the shortest route.

Dez Miklós, Hamilton Mountain

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