Pedes­trian safety our re­spon­si­bil­ity

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

THERE is lit­tle won­der that a ve­hi­cle trav­el­ling at a high speed is a deadly weapon. If some­one on foot gets in the way, whether through their inat­ten­tion or ow­ing to a mis­take they make, the con­se­quences are ob­vi­ously dev­as­tat­ing.

The ma­jor con­tribut­ing fac­tor to pedes­trian fa­tal­i­ties:

per­sons — are more likely to stum­ble into the road.

cross­ing mo­tor­ways or free­ways — While it is il­le­gal to walk on or run across the free­way, it still hap­pens a lot, es­pe­cially in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. Par­tic­u­larly where there are mul­ti­ple lanes, it can be easy to un­der­es­ti­mate the speed of ap­proach­ing ve­hi­cles.

— Pedes­tri­ans who fail to pay at­ten­tion to traf­fic (while us­ing phones, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic or read­ing, or sim­ply day­dream­ing) can stray into the path of an ap­proach­ing car.

lights and cross­ings – Pedes­tri­ans cross­ing the road on an or­ange or red light into traf­fic.

Poor visibility — Dark cloth­ing and nar­row roads can re­sult in mo­torists not be­ing able to see pedes­tri­ans.

in the road in­stead of on the pave­ment or shoul­der (par­tic­u­larly when com­bined with poor visibility).

— Pedes­tri­ans chas­ing a ball, step­ping into the road af­ter get­ting off the bus or rid­ing a skate­board can eas­ily place them­selves in dan­ger.

chil­dren who wan­der into the road.

of crime try­ing to es­cape at­tack­ers.

of reck­less driv­ing who, through no fault of their own, end up in the path of a driver who has mounted the pave­ment or oth­er­wise bro­ken the law.

Safety tips for pedes­tri­ans:

obey road signs and traf­fic lights.

low-light sit­u­a­tions, wear bright coloured clothes. Con­sider a re­flect­ing band or other high visibility item if you reg­u­larly walk af­ter hours.

the pave­ment or walk as near to the road­side as pos­si­ble, fac­ing on­com­ing traf­fic.

drink and walk. Your judge­ment is im­paired and you are at greater risk.

use pedes­trian cross­ings and bridges where avail­able, even if it means walk­ing a lit­tle fur­ther.

left, look right, look left again. Never cross the road with­out per­form­ing this sim­ple pro­ce­dure.

as­sume you have been seen. Mo­torists tend to be on the look­out for other mo­torists and not pedes­tri­ans. Make eye con­tact.

on the con­stant look­out for po­ten­tial dan­ger.

cross­ing a road, don’t walk half way; this leaves you in dan­ger’s way. Rather cross when both lanes are clear.

tips for mo­torists:

look for pedes­tri­ans — they can pop up even where they shouldn’t be and can be hard to spot ow­ing to dark cloth­ing.

es­pe­cially cau­tious when pass­ing in­for­mal set­tle­ments, of­ten along­side free­ways. Peo­ple will run over the road in th­ese ar­eas.

slow­ing even be­low the speed limit when pass­ing th­ese set­tle­ments; avoid over­tak­ing.

the worst — pedes­tri­ans might be in­tox­i­cated or oth­er­wise im­paired and could be un­pre­dictable.

par­tic­u­lar care to spot small chil­dren and the el­derly.

drive dis­tracted (eat­ing, us­ing your phone, etc.).

down if visibility is com­pro­mised (rain, dust, low sun).

out for pedes­tri­ans walk­ing in the same di­rec­tion as you are trav­el­ling. They might not hear your ve­hi­cle and step into the road.

ex­tra care on ‘pay­day’ (usu­ally Fri­day af­ter­noons/evenings). There will be more in­tox­i­cated per­sons around.

zones (taxi and bus ranks) are of­ten busy and chaotic. Be aware that pas­sen­gers could sud­denly step into the path of your ve­hi­cle.

pedes­trian cross­ings — peo­ple on foot have right of way. Re­mem­ber that if you hit a pedes­trian, even if it isn’t your fault, the re­sults can be hor­rific and deeply un­pleas­ant to sort out. If a death oc­curs, you will au­to­mat­i­cally be charged with cul­pa­ble homi­cide.

By tak­ing more re­spon­si­bil­ity for how you drive, you can help im­prove pedes­trian safety — and avoid be­com­ing a vic­tim of some­one else’s care­less­ness while mak­ing the roads safer for all. — Al­l4­women

Pedes­trian fa­tal­i­ties ac­count for over a third of all road ac­ci­dent ca­su­al­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.