Before crossing, stop and look left-right-left, don’t fiddle with your phone while driving, be on the lookout for pedestrians. Simple rules yet frequent road accidents. Who’s
My Editor-in-Chief shared a video with me a few days ago showing how a community contributed to making a unique 3D Zebra crossing in front of a school to curb repeated reported cases of school kids and their caretakers being hit by motorists right on the Zebra crossing!
You can agree with me that the first few seconds of the video was unsettling and I must confess that at first I blamed the motorists for hitting people right on Zebra crossing but after a few researches, I found that Pedestrians account for a third of road traffic fatalities.
No more blame games. Let us revisit road usage rules.
There are two categories of road users;
Vulnerable road users: These are pedestrians, Children and adolescents and riders of motorized two-wheelers.
Drivers: They are commercial/professional drivers, young drivers and elderly drivers.
Road users have a high casualty rate and should, therefore, be given special attention. They are referred to as ‘vulnerable road users’ because of the lack of external protection.
Fatalities can be avoided if pedestrians take these necessary precautions:
• Cross at spots where there are stop signs, Zebra crossing, traffic lights, and where all vehicular traffic is visible.
• When walking, stay on the sidewalk always. Should there be no sidewalks, walk on the right side against traffic so you can see oncoming motorists.
• Remove your headphones, drop calls and avoid looking at distracting gadget such as MP3’s or smartphones when walking.
• Always stay alert for vehicles turning or running the red light. Don’t start to cross until all traffic has stopped.
• On locations without signs, cross the street one lane at a time. Cross onto the next lane only when it is safe to do so.
• Look right, left and then right again for traffic before crossing a crosswalk. Never assume that a vehicle is going to stop for you.
• Wear light or bright coloured clothing at night so you can be easily spotted.
• Use pedestrian overhead bridges except they are not available.
• When travelling in large groups walk in a single file (one behind another), if no sidewalk is
• Use Cycle lane if available.
• Don’t jump red lights and don’t cycle on the pavement unless it’s designated for cycling.
• In wet weather control speed as surfaces may be slippery.
• Ride decisively, and well clear of the kerb.
• Use lights and consider wearing bright or reflective clothing, at night and in bad weather.
• Consider wearing a helmet.
• Ride in a position where you can see and be seen.
• Make eye contact with other road users, just so you know they’ve seen you.
• Use your bell – not all pedestrians can see you.
Children and young people have been reported to have a high involvement in road crashes. This is why they must learn to use the road safely. Theoretical and practical road safety education must be part of their school curriculum.
New motorists and special needs individuals need to be educated too.
It is very important for government agencies to ensure that these traffic rules are adhered to. Sometimes applying strict measures to making our roads safer for all users is necessary.
Be you a motorist, a cyclist or a pedestrian, the road is for everyone. Consider the consequences of your action before making one. The roads belong to all of us. Let’s share it without fatalities.