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motorists should follow Canada's lead and learn that it's never open season on pedestrians

Canada's wilderness animals can be hunted for food outside of their breeding time, hence the well-known term 'in season' for deer, moose and caribou. But never people.

Motorists, it seems, hunt people here at any time. Do they mark on their dashboards hits and near-misses?

Not only do they have right of way on the roads, they assume it on the footpath as well.

As a Canadian living here, I'm always shocked at the risk of crossing the road - or even walking the footpath. One evening, walking on a footpath, a car blocked it trying to get onto the road. The driver allowed me about 18 inches to get by her car.

I was about to turn to see if a passing articulated lorry might suck me into the traffic when sanity intervened and I indicated to the driver, through a hand signal, to give me more room.

To cut a long story short, the car finally reversed after a sit-in on the bonnet in protest (I'm in my 75th year).

The last time I lived in Canada, in Vancouver, I never heard of one road accident involving a pedestrian. Simply, you go to jail if you knock down a pedestrian - and for a long time.

There, when motorists approach an intersection, they stop to observe if a pedestrian needs to cross and, if not, they then proceed to the intersection.

An experienced British driver, newly arrived, failed the driving test, because he did not stop at the halt sign to see if a pedestrian needed to cross.

When a pedestrian puts a foot on the road in Canada, cars stop. Pedestrians have right of way, because a car is a lethal weapon.

There should be no open season on pedestrians - ever.

GERALDINE SUSAN GRICE

Newry, Co Down

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