Road Safety Week: Pedestrian safety

The Jersey Road Safety Panel will be releasing road safety advice each day this week, focusing on a different area each day. Today the panel is focusing on pedestrian safety.

During 2010, 8 pedestrians were seriously injured while crossing the road in Jersey compared to 3 so far in 2011.

Some of the pedestrians injured were blameless, but on many occasions the pedestrian has had to accept some of the responsibility for their injuries. Often drivers see pedestrians stepping out into the road without looking, or perhaps listening to music through headphones, unable to hear the traffic around them.

Because crossing the road is something you do every day of your life, you may not to think about it or concentrate in the way you should. Your route may always be the same, so you probably don't think about the risks you take on a daily basis.

Think about how many near misses you've witnessed or perhaps been involved in.  Thankfully these incidents don't usually result in serious injury. We were all taught the green cross code at school or by our parents, but the chances are you rarely use it in full.

Panel member Dave St George commented "It's surprising how often I see someone trying to cross a road close to a pedestrian crossing but not actually use it.  It must surprise drivers when someone steps out from positions like this.  I'm also amazed at the number of people I see using a mobile phone even texting while crossing roads or just stepping out without checking if it's safe.

Panel member and Chairman of the Driving Instructor's Association Roy Taylor commented "Young people tend to take their lead from us when deciding where to cross the road and how to do it for instance.  They just mimic us and pick up on all our bad habits. It's really important for us to set the best example we can for our younger road users.

Tips for pedestrians:

  • make sure you can be seen, especially during the darker winter months
  • if there is a pedestrian crossing nearby, use it
  • it sounds obvious, but if there isn't a pedestrian crossing nearby, find somewhere safe to cross the road where you can be seen and you have a clear view of the road
  • check carefully before stepping out
  • don't use your mobile phone or text whilst checking or crossing the road
  • don't assume drivers have seen you at a pedestrian crossing and make sure they are coming to a stop before stepping out. Unfortunately many drivers will be distracted by something or may be using a mobile phone
  • when the green light begins to flash at a pedestrian crossing, remember that it's too late to start to cross. Push the button and wait for it to change back to green

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