Emergency services on scene at the intersection of Bowen and Meredith roads where two women were struck by a vehicle. (Submitted photo)

Editorial: We can all try to make Nanaimo’s streets safer

In crash reporting, we’re trying to use clear language, not apportion blame

If pedestrians are being struck by vehicles, then the streets aren’t safe.

We know that already – as children, we’re taught to look both ways before crossing the street; as teenagers, we don’t get our driver’s licence until we understand the rules of the road.

The News Bulletin reported on a couple of incidents last week in which pedestrians were struck by vehicles; in each case, a person was taken to hospital.

As is always the case when we publish articles about these sorts of incidents, we had readers telling us our headlines weren’t worded correctly, that it was drivers – not their vehicles – who hit the pedestrians.

They’re not wrong, but neither were our headlines. It’s generally the force of thousands of pounds of metal or the resulting fall that’s causing injury or worse. Of course it was the driver who was steering. We know it’s almost never the vehicle itself that’s to blame; however, in the immediate aftermath of a collision, we aren’t looking to apportion blame. First responders themselves aren’t usually exactly sure how the accident happened when they arrive on scene. In the absence of all the facts, we report the facts that we know at that moment – that a person was struck by a vehicle, that the person was injured, that the person was taken to hospital, that police are investigating.

We invariably mention that someone was driving the vehicle, it’s just usually not in the headline, because we’re looking to write something readable, sensible and clear.

We don’t intend to blame or shame victims. We do photograph a lot of car crashes and print a lot of articles, editorials, beefs and letters to the editor with different perspectives on driving, active transportation, road safety, speed limits and the like.

All of us use Nanaimo’s streets, one way or another. They aren’t always safe. We can blame one another, but wouldn’t it be better if we were to look out for one another?

RELATED: Two women struck by vehicle at Nanaimo intersection

RELATED Child struck by vehicle outside school spent night in hospital



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Driving

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Nanaimo’s Jones will draw on her experiences in first political campaign

Retired social worker representing B.C. Liberals in Nanaimo riding in provincial election

Shoplifting suspect allegedly spits on worker at store in Nanaimo

Suspect became aggressive when confronted by loss prevention officer at Walmart, say RCMP

Nanaimo’s temporary restaurant patios to stay in place for another year

City council votes to leave patios out for winter and through till fall 2021

Ladysmith man arrested in Saanich after towed sawmill draws attention

Police located the man thanks to social media and a keen-eyed witness

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Nanaimo city council wants more info about pilot project to lower residential speed limit

Staff will report back on ministry of transportation pilot that could lower speed limit to 40km/h

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Most Read