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We have been trying to raise awareness to make Halifax a safer city for our pedestrians. See for example Mark Raftus’ recent article: Protecting Pedestrians with Innovative Ideas

Petition to Lower Speed Limit on Spring Garden

Spring_Garden_Road_at_Queen_StreetHalifax City Council recently approved a plan to improve streetscaping and lighting along Spring Garden Road to make it more pedestrian friendly. We believe that pedestrians should be able to safely walk the streets of Halifax. However, there were 208 pedestrian accidents last year (2015) and a disproportionate number happened on Spring Garden. There are three intersections on Spring Garden that have averaged 6 pedestrian-car collisions over the last few years. As business owners on this Road, we’ve launching a petition to reduce the speed to 30km per hour, ensuring a safer street for everyone.

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Avoid vacation litigation nightmares.

Avoid vacation litigation nightmares.


One of my pet peeves is the way many resort owners in Mexico and the Caribbean have structured their operations to shield themselves from liability for injuries they cause to their guests through their own negligence.  Canadians can, and should, take steps to avoid being left empty-handed in the event of vacation accidents.

Each winter over 3 million Canadians book vacation packages to Mexico and the Caribbean. Unfortunately, many of them will be injured while at their resort or while participating in an off-resort excursion. Their injuries will range from minor cuts and bruises to quadriplegia and everything in between. Some injuries will even prove fatal. Sadly, for these travelers and their families, when an injury is caused by the fault of another, obtaining full and fair compensation can be difficult.

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(By Mark Raftus)

Pedestrians will be pleased to hear there are new and innovative ideas emerging to make foot travel safer.

In three prior blog posts I have recommended increased vigilance on the part of both pedestrians and car drivers as the number one factor in reducing collisions and injury.

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After it was reported that Halifax was the most dangerous place to drive in Canada I thought I would do some investigation to see where most car accidents were happening in Halifax. After looking at Insurance company claim statistics and highway safety reports, what I found was that most collisions weren’t happening in one place, but in a number of similar locations.

Parking lots are dangerous

In Halifax, like most major cities in Canada, parking lots are the most common site for car accidents.

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Our November teacher of the month winner was St. Joseph’s A. McKay teacher, Christina Cann. Christine Cann teacher of month Christina recently sent us an update to let us know how she spent the Staples gift certificate.

“I was able to purchase a colour printer and scanner for my classroom! We only have a black and white copier in the school and the kids really respond well to colour prints. Also, now I can scan a document and display on LCD for all the kids to see rather than holding up the small copy. It was on sale from staples for $49 so it was perfect!

Younger students (and especially primary level students) need a lot of visuals and picture references. The colour printer will help with that. High schools and other schools may have the document readers and fancier equipment, but in some elementary schools they are hard to come by so that is where the scanner will come in. It is also wireless, so I plan to share that with the other classes on the same floor as my class.”

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(By Mark Raftus)

Pedestrian-car “accidents” are decreasing in Halifax!

As reported in my December 23, 2014 post “Pedestrian-Car Collisions: An Epidemic in Nova Scotia” the number of pedestrian-car collisions in Halifax [and indeed throughout Nova Scotia] increased from 2013 to 2014 with the attributed causes ranging from poor weather to poor visibility such as dark lighting conditions. In order to combat this rise in “accidents” I suggested increased vigilance on the part of both pedestrian and car drivers. One consumer advocate suggested that if more tickets were issued collisions would decrease based upon data from other provinces who went the route of issuing more tickets. I will keep an eye out for updated information on that front.

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(Review by Mark Raftus)

Being a personal injury lawyer means we see countless cases where injured victims overcome huge odds in their recovery. It is rare that the details of these inspiring stories become public.

But a new play running this week at Neptune Scotiabank Studio Theatre provides a glimpse into the experiences of one motor vehicle accident victim and how she dealt with, and prevailed over, the injuries she suffered in the collision.

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According to a new report released by Insurance Company AllState Canada looking at communities across the country drivers in Halifax have the highest collision rate in the country. In other words, we have more accidents per capita than any of the communities across the country that were studied.

The AllState Canada safe driving study ranked Spruce Grove Alberta as the safest place to drive in Canada with a collision rate of 3.43% per 100 cars. Halifax ranked dead last in the study with a collision rate of 7.12% per 100 cars.

The representative from AllState insurance, Deanna Lumax speculated that the increase in collisions in Halifax may have been due to the terrible driving conditions we had as a result of our brutal winter last year as well as the increasing use of cell phones and distracted driving.

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I am proud to say that I have been selected to be included in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of personal injury litigation.

I have been included in Best Lawyers for many years. One of the reasons I am so proud of the nomination is that, unlike some “recognitions” you can’t just pay to be included. The Directory has been called “the most credible and definitive guide to legal excellence in Canada.” Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a peer review survey of fellow lawyers across the country.

I’ll do my best to continue to live up to the honour.

 

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(By Mark Raftus)

Did you know that today, Wednesday, November 4, 2015 marks the second annual Crosswalk Safety Awareness Day?

red hand-thumbI have been following the issue of pedestrian collisions and traffic safety for some time. For example, on December 23, 2014 I posted PEDESTRIAN – CAR COLLISIONS: AN EPIDEMIC IN NOVA SCOTIA.  A few months later after we started getting socked by some nasty winter weather I posted WEATHER WATCH – WINTER WALKING AND DRIVING IN NOVA SCOTIA.