Recent Traffic Fatalities of Pedestrians

Though the article below was written in January 2010, it still applies today. People are still getting killed on our roads, pedestrians, or in cars, by snow factors, speed factors, and road conditions. A clock driven society causes people to hurry and not relax. That’s exactly how one person died, late for work. Employers need to to relax time schedules, in at 9:15 leave at 5:15, if 9:00 is not possible on bad weather days, don’t be upset by a delay, at least they arrived alive. That other person did not arrive, because they had this time factor which caused them to do something that ended their life. Safety isn’t just rules, its common sense to protect lives, ignorance of safety causes most of the collisions and fatalities on our streets, re-testing may be the best defense. This city has a lot of ignorance, 1 in 10 people I see commuting even know how to use a turn signal or turn into a proper lane. It’s quite disturbing. Please read on below, again.

Clearly this is a real problem, that just seems to get worse with each passing day. Having taken part in Vaughan’s opening discussion for a Pedestrian Safety Task Force, there were always more than one side to the issue. Pedestrians for the most part were at fault in many of the incidents, crossing against lights or simply in-observant of oncoming traffic. I am not blaming this solely on pedestrians because as my writing would suggest highly, motorists are by no means faultless. I have three books on the sidebar to the right which discuss in many ways what motorists are doing wrong.

On my commute last night no less than a dozen jay walkers crossed my vehicular path as I approached them, or as I sat in traffic waiting for a traffic signal. First off this puts the pedestrian in a location a vehicle would never expect them, in the middle of the road. Crosswalks are life saving areas you should be using. Push that button and add the time to your walk signal, without it, the light system doesn’t know you are there. Vehicles turning at intersections will wait for pedestrians at a crossing because they are visible, they will not see you three or four cars back jay walking. That puts you at a serious risk of getting hit. Lately that means death, not injury. 2-3,000 lbs of metal at speed is very unforgiving of flesh and bone. Motorists can only see so much, especially in darkness, use lighted cross signals to your advantage and safety to protect the life you are presently blessed with.

For the motorists though, turn correctly one lane at a time, and signal in the appropriate direction. Turning left into right lanes or vise-versa with or without a signal does not tell the pedestrians where you are really going, and seriously endangers their ability to stay safe while crossing. In winter you are often impaired by weather, frost, snow, and ice do not allow proper visual acuity to a motorist. Always brush and scrape to fully see what’s around you. Lights, windows, mirrors, roof, trunk, grille, wheel wells and bumpers should always be cleared to prevent you being impaired by them. Yes, snow impairment is equal to being drunk, neither can see clearly. My twitter @s_i_n_s states this in many ways.

Our governments have created a commuter society of roads, where sidewalks and crossings are secondary to moving cars. It is an approach that needs to be modified to accept the reality that pedestrians have rights too. Children and many senior citizens are not driving vehicles, they may take the bus, or they walk. They exist, and they need to be recognized as you are in your vehicle as a potential risk taker to cross in an unsafe location. Eyesight is key to keeping us all safe. Look everywhere.  Pedestrians will always have right of way at signed stops, but are only legally crossing if the walk signal is active in an intersection controlled by light signals. If the hand is flashing or the counter is counting down, and a pedestrian is there, do not speed to beat the light, it may cost more than one life. Missing a light will not end your life, running one could end someone else’s.

School buses are in charge of our greatest resource and achievments, our children. Never pass a school bus running flashing lights. Thier lives depend on it.

City buses are often stopping at intersections on the right side near the corner, wait for them, do not turn right from their left side, and when they are in motion to proceed from the stop, the law dictates you give them right of way. Streetcars have many doors, never block them as it approaches a stop. Their tracks are in the centre of the road so pedestrians must cross traffic lanes to reach a sidewalk. They cannot do that if a vehicle drives past the doors.

Green Lights despite common thought do not mean GO. They mean Proceed If and When The Way is Clear. If it’s not Clear, It’s not When You Proceed. This is true for motorists and pedestrians. Safe passage means you can actually pass the intersection safely. A 20 ft. car does not fit on 4″ of white paint. Yellow means prepare to stop, not speed up more so I get through. Red means stop, and unfortunately in Ontario, it means you may turn right if it’s clear to do so. Many motorists don’t bother to stop first before turning. This is another way our safety is compromised.

Obviously Snow, Ice & Frost are not the only impairments motorists may have, cellphones without blue-tooth and text devices are known distractions, a distraction is very much an impairment, as much or greater than alcohol. Look up www.RoadAwareness.ca for a recent test with members of the press that proves this fact.

Always consider safety when operating a motor vehicle, so it doesn’t become a weapon. Your meeting is never more important than a person’s life. As a motorist you can slow down and make sure pedestrians are not crossing your path. As a pedestrian, you can wait for a clear path that does not have a vehicle at speed heading towards you. Lives are being lost out of pure carelessness. Take the care to realise you are not invincible, and protect yourself from danger.

I could go to greater lengths to discuss this issue, but I’ve tried to keep it brief. My hope is you read this and take it to heart.

Stephen Leacock Humour Award Medal

Nahtan Hoj book has been entered for 2011 Competition. Though I realize it may not be everybody’s style of humour, I’ll continue to get my name out there.

See this years listing at http://www.leacock.ca

2011 Short List

Following a review of this year’s seventy submissions for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for humour, the following five books (in alphabetic order by author)
have been short listed:

Todd Babiak                     Toby the Man
Trevor Cole                     Practical Jean
Terry Fallis                    The High Road
Red Green                       How to do Everyhing
David Rakoff                    Half Empty

Judith Rapson
Awards Chair.

I entered 2009’s competition with Snowball’s Chance In Hell which was a collection of monologues and rants. It did not make the shortlist of top 5 out of the 47 entries. For 2010 I entered Harvey The Happy Helmet’s Illustrated How To Drive Handbook – A Drive By Education where it was among 68 entries here http://www.leacock.ca/10ENTRIES.htm . It is a humourous take on how to drive properly by pointing out what many do wrong. It’s Tough Love.  Among the entries was William Ferguson’s latest novel, he being one of my favourite Canadian authors, he also won that year.

Short List Announcement

April 1, 11:00 am in Orillia;

The short list  for the Stephen Leacock Memorial  Medal for Humour and the TD Financial Group Cash Award was announced this morning at the Mississaga Street branch of the TD Bank, in Orillia.

The following books (in alphabetical order)  were nominated for the Awards:

The top books are:
Kathryn Borel Jr. – Corked (John Wiley & Sons)
Glen Chilton – The Curse of the Labrador Duck (Harper Collins)
Bill Conan – The Rock in the Water (Hidden Book Press)
William Deverell – Snow Job (McClelland and Stewart)
Will Ferguson – Beyond Belfast (Penguin)

Announcement Luncheon

April 29, 11:30 am, Leacock Museum in Orillia

Will Ferguson’s Beyond Belfast was named the winner. I met two authors, Glen and Bill, and a few representatives, including another author Bill Pitt.

Twitter Feeds

On right hand side you will see my Twitter feeds.

@acronymr will be doing daily acronyms !

In a bet on the Olympic Hockey Game, since @jimmyfallon didn’t answer him, I did. @billengvall of the Blue Collar Comedy crew was to follow @acronymr if Canada won. Had USA won (or lost) he’d be followed by the rest of my twitters.

@billengvall

Now following @acronymr because a bet is a bet. about 14 hours ago via web

How cool is that?

@harveyhelmet is for the character of my series of Harvey The Happy Helmet Books, sequel coming, giving road safety tips.

@S_I_N_S for the Awareness that Snow Impairment’s Not Safe, giving weather related safety tips.

Both of these are followed by many other Road Safety Advocates and Police organizations.

@JohnRossHarvey Official Author Twitter.

@Nahtan_Hoj pen name for Romance novels.

@ThreeForcesEvil tweeting archive links from my original Blog at http://threeforcesofevil.blogspot.com

@3syllableseagal for all the Three Syllable Movie Titles Stephen Seagal could be a part of, even spelled the name correct this time.

Enjoy!

What I've done so far

Since completing Humber College Comedy Workshop in Writing in Summer 2004 I started writing comedy prolifically and created my blog Three Forces Of Evil

With a ringing endorsement from Mark Breslin, I decided to do a book aptly titled Three Forces of Evil – Comedy Shorts

It had one web buyer who told me how much she loved it (especially the Stephen Segal 3 syllable movie titles), was given to family and sold to a few friends, and some others ended up with free copies against my better judgement. Noone ever told me it was bad.

Since I had more material written it turned into a 2nd book Snowball’s Chance In Hell which was in the running for Stephen Leacock Humour Award last year 2009.

With my brother in law we had an Acronym humour blog called Acronymville so that created the 3rd book Acronymville – Your One Stop Destination In The World Of Acronyms.

Though it was not a comedy collection my 4th book was a Political Intrigue Novel, ok it was a short story, very short, about something you’d never dream of. It’s called World Peace – A Novel.

Getting back to comedy writing and all things automotive, my  5th book Harvey The Happy Helmet’s Illustrated How To Drive Handbook – A Drive By Education was next. It is currently in running for 2010  Toronto Book Awards, and IPPY (Independant Publishing) Award for Humour. It narrowly missed shortlist for Stephen Leacock Award for Humour.

My 6th book as noticed by top of sidebar is a Romantic Comedy under the pen name of Nahtan Hoj. How many books can claim Paul Tracy gave them a cameo permission on Twitter? Only this book. It’s also my only book available at Chapters Indigo online!

Welcome

Since I’m a Gemini I’ve never been content with things in ones. 2 cars, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 feet, 2 hands, 2 rings, etc. As a writer I could obviously never stop at 1 book. Nor can I as an author remain solitary. In the coming months/years I will be many people, but they are already all on Twitter, Facebook and Myspace . As soon as I get the hang of things here, we’ll link to everything I am involved with from a comedy and writing perspective.  Other projects as they arise will also be highlighted.

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By John Ross Harvey

Place Holder: Harvey The Happy Helmet's Road Sign Guide Place Holder: Yet Another Kid... Place Holder: Free E-book....

When a Stand Up Guy Meets a Sold Out Girl

Three Forces of Evil (Comedy Shorts)

Snowball's Chance In Hell

Acronymville Your One Stop Destination In The World Of Acronyms

World Peace - A Novel

Harvey The Happy Helmet's Illustrated How To Drive Handbook - A Drive By Education

Click a book to order