Pedestrian injury is the greatest cause of accidental death of children in Great Britain. We aim to reduce casualties through education by providing advice, literature and training to give both adults and children the skills they need to stay safe. We promote ‘Walk to School Week’ and work with schools to provide ‘Walking Buses’ for pupils.
Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable section of the community, covering children, teenagers and the elderly.
General Advice for Pedestrians.
- Use pavements or footpaths whenever possible but do not walk too close to the kerb with your back to the traffic.
- If there are no pavements or footpaths then walk on the right hand side of the road so the traffic can see you and you can see the traffic.
- Try to plan your journey using crossings if possible.
- Make sure when crossing a road that you can see the traffic and the drivers can see you. Avoid bends, corners and hedges where visibility would be limited. Keep looking and listening as you cross.
- Try to avoid crossing between parked cars – move to a more suitable place where you can see and be seen.
- Make sure that you are visible during the day by wearing fluorescent clothing and reflective clothing during the hours of darkness.
(Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossings)
At this type of crossing the person wishing to cross the busy road presses a push button on a control box fixed to a traffic signal post. Once activated, a ‘red man’ light signal appears across the other side of the road. This is followed by a ‘green man’ light signal. This briefly stops the traffic long enough to allow pedestrians to cross in safety. At the end of this sequence the ‘green man’ light flashes and this coincides with the flashing amber traffic light for the drivers.
Various measures are installed at many crossings to help blind and partially sighted people. On single carriageways most pelican crossings have a traditional ‘bleeper’. On others there is a small rotating knob, underneath the push button box which a blind person can hold. This rotates when the ‘green man’ is showing.
(Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent Crossing)
This is a newer type of pedestrian crossing, similar to the pelican but there is no flashing ‘green man’ period for pedestrians or flashing amber period for drivers.
Instead it uses sensors which can tell if a pedestrian is waiting to cross and can extend the ‘green man’ time while a slower pedestrian is actually on the crossing. The push button control box is attached to the traffic signal post and the red and green man lights are position just above.
(Thick black and white striped markings with orange Belisha beacons)
There in no pedestrian control for this crossing. Pedestrians wanting to cross should wait until the traffic has stopped in both directions or the road is clear before crossing.
(Two Can Crossing)
This is another relatively new type of crossing which operates in exactly the same way as the Puffin crossing. It allows both pedestrians and cyclists to cross at the same time. The Toucan crossing is push button operated and the pedestrians and cyclists will see the ‘green man ‘and green cycle lights together.
On very busy roads you may find foot bridges, subways or traffic islands to help you cross the road more safely.
Pedestrian Training is an essential life skill and should be developed from an early age. The best person to conduct the training is the parent, child minder or grandparent. Children copy very easily so these adults need to set a good example when using the road.
Young children can be very unpredictable as pedestrians and being much smaller than adults they are more difficult to see.
West Berkshire Council has developed a practical child pedestrian training scheme, delivered through pre-school groups, to parents with children about to start school. Details can be obtained from the road safety office.
A follow-up scheme for year 2 children in Primary and Infant schools is being developed and a pilot scheme is about to be started.
The skills required to cope with traffic are complex and children do not acquire the ability to judge accurately the distance and speed of traffic until they are about 10 years old. Parents must appreciate this fact and act accordingly.
It is important to train children from an early age so that safety becomes an inbuilt factor for when they are out on their own. Teenage pedestrians are often involved in crashes because they are so easily distracted by mobile phones, mp3 player’s or taking to each other.