Two Drivers Jump Sidewalk in Toronto, Injure 10 — Cops Blame Pedestrians

Today in police behaving badly, this madness from Toronto…

A law enforcement official in Toronto suggested pedestrians were somehow responsible for their injuries after two drivers jumped the curb. Image: ##http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/728133/toronto-car-crash-at-bay-and-lakeshore-raises-questions-about-road-safety/##MetroNews##

Ten people were injured — including six pedestrians — following a collision in which two drivers jumped the curb. The crash was found to be caused by an “illegal road manuver” on the part of one of the drivers. But that didn’t stop Toronto Police Constable Hugh Smith from blaming pedestrians. In a Toronto Star report on the incident, Smith pointed to a lack of understanding about pedestrian countdown timers.

The article dwells at length on the constable’s concerns about pedestrians.

“We’re finding down there is people aren’t paying attention to the countdown timers,” Smith told the newspaper. “A lot of people take it for granted.”

In response, Toronto resident Benjamin Mueller-Heaslip is circulating a petition. He says this isn’t an isolated incident, but part of a pattern of victim-blaming by Toronto law enforcement. Police have suggested that pedestrians take extreme measures to protect their safety, Mueller-Heaslip says, including wearing bright colors or walking along the edge of the sidewalk farthest away from traffic.

“Blaming people for engaging in perfectly legal behaviour normalizes the dangerous and illegal behaviour of others,” Mueller-Heaslip writes. “It suggests that non-drivers must go to extreme and unreasonable lengths to protect themselves from others’ recklessness.”

As of Monday afternoon, more than 200 people had signed.

  • SF mom

    I’m curious, is this Toronto Star the paper of record? To clarify details of the constable’s concerns, apparently he feels that it’s ‘not allowed’ to enter the crosswalk once the countdown has started. Even if that actually mattered vis-a-vis the incident at hand, Is this seriously the law in Canada??!? How or why would anyone write a law like that?

    Wow, just wow. Toronto, I feel for you. You’re just getting a tough break, between your crazytown mayor and your constables spewing victim-blaming nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    Highway Traffic Act, section 144, subsection 27: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90h08_e.htm#s144s27

    I agree that it’s a bit silly, but I can see that the intent is “don’t cross if you’re unable to cross before the light changes”, which is a law that we impose on cars as well.

  • ? I guess the mayor isn’t the only Toronto official who’s smoking crack.

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