Visibility key factor in pedestrian accidents

There has been a high incidence of pedestrian injuries in marked crosswalks this winter. In response to the horrifying vehicular collision with a family walking across a marked crosswalk in Surrey B.C. the following interview took place on CBC “On The Coast” radio on February 3, 2016.

Most of the professional transportation studies indicate that visibility is the key factor in pedestrians being hit by vehicles on the road. In saying that, the professional studies do have a bias, in that civil engineers write them and others dedicated to making vehicular traffic flow smoothly, without the consideration of the pedestrian as an equal road user. When reviewing pedestrian accidents, there are three factors:

  1. Driver Behaviour;
  2. Driver Speed;
  3. Visibility.

As Neal Carley, one of the Directors of Walk Metro Vancouver notes we need to change our view of what and who uses the street rights of way.

In the 20th century the purpose of roads and rights of way was largely to move cars between two points. In the 21st century roads and their rights of way serve multiple uses for many purposes including items such as utilities, public realm, gathering places, green spaces, and street art, in addition to accommodating pedestrians, cyclists and cars.

How do we go about making streets safe, comfortable and convenient for all users?

Please listen to my interview below with Gloria Macarenko starting at 2:18:00: