Pedestrian safety our responsibility
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.