Wednesday, February 4, 2009

assumptions that can lead to accident


of late, there have been at least two cases of pedestrians being seriously or fatally injured at zebra crossings.

report in the straits times on jan 21

a nine-year-old boy died on monday when he was hit by a tipper truck while using a zebra crossing

on jan 22

while they were crossing the zebra crossing on the slip road along clementi avenue 4, li yun was knocked down by a lorry.

he was walking a few metres ahead of his grandmother and had almost reached the end of the zebra crossing when the accident happened.

parliamentary report on accidents involving pedestrians

pedestrians remain the second most vulnerable group of road users last year, after motorcyclists. the number of pedestrians killed accounted for 22% of total fatalities. traffic police has introduced several measures and initiatives to reach out to pedestrians, in particular vulnerable groups like the elderly and young children.

sometimes i fear for the safety of those who cross the road at pedestrian crossings. i have seen motorists who do not slow down at all when approaching the pedestrian crossing. these drivers tend to assume that with nobody in sight, they could just speed through. should someone suddenly step onto the road at the crossing, i dread to think of the consequences.

the other assumption is made by some pedestrians. i have observed some who are so nonchalant that they do not bother to look to their right or left to check for on-coming vehicle; they just assume that there is no vehicle coming their way or if there is any vehicle, it will automatically stop for them.

another group of people who cross the road without much care are those engaged in conversation on their cell phones. these pedestrians seem more intent on carrying on their telephone conversation than on looking out for oncoming traffic. they also have the assumption that all motorists will see them and stop for them.

14 comments:

Icemoon said...

yg, you even blackout the license plate.

yg said...

icemoon, just needed a picture of the pedestrian crossing. that particular car was not speeding.

Lam Chun See said...

To get home I have to turn from main road to side road. Nowadays, I notice both pedestrian traffic and vehicular traffic has increased. And vehicles include heavy ones go at high speed even in residential area like Sixth Ave. That gives rise to problems.

1) The vehicles behind me tailgate and refuse to slow down. If I slow down too much, I fear they going to ram into my behind.

2) Many pedistrians, especially foreigh workers - and there are many nowadays, don't look before they cross the minor road; so I have to stop for them. Even I sound my horn they still continue to cross.

yg said...

chun see, i think we can blame the change in driving behaviour on the increase in the wehicular population.
drivers tend to go faster everywhere and it is becoming a norm to ignore the red light.
i have observed motorists who do not stop for the red light - i am not referring to the transition between amber and red or even the first 2 seconds when the red comes on. there is ample time to stop safely but these people choose to ignore the red light. they come in all shapes and sizes. of course, the most likely culprits are the taxi-drivers and truck drivers. but i have also seen men, women, young and old, doing it. some literate ones too.

nah said...

My observation is this... most pedestrians do not know how to use a zebra crossing. They think that they have the right of way and simply dash across. Pedestrians using the crossing must give traffic plenty of time to see them and to stop before starting to cross.
They have to wait on the pavement near the kerb until traffic has stopped, then they may cross. If the traffic does not stop, then they can carefully put one foot on the crossing. This means that the right of way is legally theirs, and the traffic must stop so that they can cross.

JollyGreenP said...

It is a sad fact that worldwide one of the most dangerous places for a pedestrian to cross a road is at a zebrsa crossing. When I worked in Switzerland something like two thirds of accidents involving pedestrians happened on zebra crossings.

SeenThisSceneThat said...

Pedestrians and drivers, combined with the law, have equal parts to play in ensuring safe, pleasant and accident-free roads. I think we need more time to achieve that, if ever.

Anonymous said...

Read the fantastic comments...but isn't driver supposed to look out and give away to pedestrains...please don't blame the foreigners workers how about your own goos singaporean.

Joe said...

Hi Anonymous, it is inevitable that some habits are carried over. Depending on where they come from, some foreigners are not used to stopping for pedestrians (back home), so when they are here, they sometimes lapse into their old ways.
Another friend's observation is that more public bus drivers tend to beat the red light. Again, this could be because such a practice is acceptable and they are used to doing it back in their country of origin.
All said, locals are as guilty as foreigners when it comes to bad behaviour on the roads. In fact, the majority of the offenders are Singaporeans.

Icemoon said...

Actually I kind of like the bo-cheng-hu system in countries like Thailand and Malaysia. No traffic lights, no crossing, but vehicles actually slow down for you - they don't even blare their horns.

Icemoon said...

Come to think of it, zebra crossing is the most dangerous place to cross. Drivers are conditioned to look at the road and traffic lights, the eyes detect pedestrian movement and the signature light colors easily. But a zebra crosser was just a pedestrian a moment before. One sudden left or right turn he becomes a zebra crosser.

yg said...

icemoon, i was told in ho chi minh city, the situation is the same. there are motorcycles all around you and you just cross as they will try their best to avoid hitting you.
the sounding of the horn evokes different emotions. in some countries, honking is part and parcel of the merry and noisy scene; people accept it and they don't get upset at all.

yg said...

john, seems like in u.k., apart from zebra crossing, you have pelican, puffin and toucan crossings.

Lam Chun See said...

I find that the internet is full of self-righteous people who are ever ready to pounce on the slightest appearance of racism.