Halifax Regional Police is investigating a vehicle/pedestrian collision involving a police cruiser that occurred in Halifax this morning.
At 6:38 a.m., a male officer driving a marked police cruiser was exiting the parking lot of Tim Horton’s located at 200 Bedford Highway, when he struck a pedestrian. The officer driving the cruiser was attempting to turn right onto the Bedford Highway towards Halifax and the female pedestrian was proceeding north on the sidewalk towards Bedford when the collision occurred.
A senior police supervisor was assigned this investigation and met with the officer and the pedestrian later this morning. From the investigation, it was determined that the officer stopped at the end of the parking lot and after looking to the right and then to the left, waited for a break in traffic before entering the roadway. The pedestrian observed the police cruiser stopped at the end of the parking lot and attempted to get the attention of the officer. The officer did not see her and moved forward, striking the pedestrian who sustained minor injuries to one of her hands. The officer immediately stopped the police cruiser and assisted the pedestrian. After providing her information, the pedestrian requested to leave the area and was later met by the supervisor who took a written statement from her.
As a result of the investigation, no charges will be laid as there were no violations of the Motor Vehicle Act. It, however, serves as a reminder that both drivers and pedestrians have a shared responsibility in road safety and that such a collision can happen to anyone, police officers included. Please remember to slow down, pay attention and adjust your driving for the conditions.
ClarificationIt’s understandable that some citizens feel the driver was given special treatment due to his being a police officer. This is not the case. Incidents involving pedestrians being struck on sidewalks, and those incidents that occur in crosswalks, fall under different sections of the Motor Vehicle Act. Here are the two sections for incidents on sidewalks:
“136 (1) The driver of a vehicle within a business or residence district emerging from an alley, driveway or building shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving on a sidewalk or on the sidewalk area extending across an alley way.”
“136(2) The driver of a vehicle entering an alley, driveway or building or driving across a sidewalk shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian who is crossing the entrance to the alley, driveway or building or who is on the sidewalk at the point where the vehicle is crossing.
In this incident, the officer stopped before crossing the sidewalk, looked both ways and did not see a pedestrian. He then moved ahead onto the sidewalk to look for an opening in traffic, as a snow bank was obstructing his view. It was at this point that the pedestrian, who had been jogging up the sidewalk, came upon the cruiser and attempted to gain the attention of the officer. She was never in front of the vehicle. It was when the officer began to turn into traffic that the front passenger fender struck the pedestrian.
Though there was no offence under the Motor Vehicle Act, this incident is certainly a concern for police. It is so important for all of us, officers included, to be vigilant and aware of our surroundings at all times.