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Pedestrians take over traffic duty during power outage

TORONTO, Ont. – During the height of Monday’s power outage, many working in downtown Toronto came out of their offices to find intersections in need of point duty, as officers were almost impossible to find.

So, many people decided to take the matter into their own hands.

680’s Colin D’Mello spotted at least three intersections where ordinary Torontonians went from pedestrians to police officers, trying to control the flow of traffic.

“I’m trying to get traffic to flow smoothly and I don’t want anybody to get hurt,” said Allan, who assumed the role of point duty officer at Wellington and University.

When asked why he chose to help, he said “I’ve seen other people do it, and I know that the best way to do it, is to just organize people so everybody’s safe. That’s all.”

Aseel, still in her work clothes, also decided to direct traffic, and told 680News “I saw a lot of close accidents, and that’s why I thought I should get out there … that’s what motivated me the most.”

“I thought ‘ok, well somebody has to stand up. This is what being a Canadian citizen is about’, right?”

The petite woman was directing everything from streetcars to coach buses, and people stopped to give her high fives and water bottles. After an hour, she was approached by police, who warned her that such activity is a hazard to both drivers and pedestrians.

Meanwhile, many onlookers wondered why it took the police so long to get there.

“They should be here, not civilians. If it was during the G20, I’m sure every intersection would be covered,” said one man.

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