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December 18, 2006
Paramedics urge everyone to pay extra attention on roads and sidewalks
In recent weeks, several Toronto residents have been struck by vehicles while crossing streets. Paramedics from Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) urge everyone to exercise caution when driving or crossing streets, especially after dark.

“Almost all vehicle-pedestrian collisions are preventable,” said Bruce Farr, Chief and General Manager, Toronto EMS. “Motorists need to pay more attention to pedestrians crossing streets in front of them. Pedestrians need to be mindful to always cross at traffic lights or marked crosswalks and to activate the warning signals. They should make sure that motorists see them and are aware of their desire to cross the street.”

Toronto paramedics encourage residents to take the following precautionary steps:
• drivers - watch for pedestrians and cyclists
• remember, it takes longer for pedestrians - especially senior citizens - to cross the street in winter weather, and it takes longer to stop your car too
• always drive with your headlights on - day or night
• do not drink and drive
• pedestrians - cross streets at intersections or crosswalks
• activate the crosswalk warning lights and point to indicate your intention to cross
• make sure drivers see you before you cross - make eye contact
• wear appropriate footwear for the weather - boots or shoes with good traction - so you can walk safely on slippery surfaces in bad weather
• wear light-coloured or reflective clothing at night to improve visibility.

Chief Farr reminds the public, “The holiday season is a time for families and friends. Nobody wants to spend the holidays at hospital with an injured relative or mourning someone who has been killed in a preventable incident. Drivers don’t want to live with the guilt of having struck a pedestrian or a cyclist. Please be careful - and have some consideration for others during this special season.”

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Larry Roberts, Co-ordinator, Toronto EMS Media Relations and Communications, 416-392-2255 (office), 416-708-8125 (cell)



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