We did a post on the “Pedestrians Etiquette Tips” https://sabiarea.com.ng/2018/10/25/pedestrian-etiquette-tips/.
Today, we are doing a follow up on that but more on the usage of pedestrian bridges by pedestrians.
Pedestrian bridges are bridges specially designed for pedestrians and in some cases cyclists, animal traffic to further enhance the safety of road users.
Studies were carried out in the United Kingdom recently on pedestrian’s behaviour and attitude in the area of a pedestrian bridge. It was concluded that pedestrian bridges have a positive impact and have great potential of reducing number of pedestrian fatalities. The main factors that affect the use of pedestrian bridges are: the posted speed limit, the overall width of the cross walkway, and the existence of median barrier.
Nevertheless, pedestrian accidents normally involve passenger cars. However, considerable numbers of road crashes involved heavy goods vehicles. Pedestrians walking on the road make up the majority of casualties in pedestrian-related road crashes followed by pedestrians walking on the sidewalk. Main cause of pedestrian accidents is error of the driver. That includes not respecting pedestrian priority, lack of attention, driving under influence, speed violation, and disregard for crosswalks.
More than 50 per cent of pedestrian accidents are caused by cars driving at 40 mph and above, especially within built-up areas. Pedestrian accidents can also be caused by error of the pedestrians such as lack of attention, ignoring traffic controls, ignoring crosswalks and pedestrian bridges, lack of awareness or caution.
The same study further recommended the following measures to improve the driver and pedestrian behaviour:
a. Increase enforcement
b. Education and awareness for drivers and pedestrians
c. Increase collaboration and synergy among law enforcement agencies
d. Use high technology surveillance of driver behavior such as using stationary and moving radars and cameras.
e. To have a daily news report through the T.V. and Radio stations about the daily traffic crashes, and to show the human losses and the injuries caused by non-compliance with the sue of pedestrian bridges,
f. Improved media advocacy on the social and financial losses that can result from pedestrian-related road crashes.
g. To compel recalcitrant drivers and pedestrians who repeatedly violate traffic laws to attend compulsory training courses concerning traffic laws and regulations.
h. To increase the penalties for violation of traffic laws and rules
i. To strengthen machinery towards educating children and youths about traffic safety rules and regulations. Also, encourage the students at university level to take road traffic safety courses.
j. To encourage drivers to drive defensively and to obey traffic rules and regulations in all circumstances.
k. Improved presence of law enforcement agencies at traffic-crash prone locations and at dangerous streets and intersections.
l. To construct barricades such as wire fencing and medians around pedestrian bridges to prevent pedestrians from running across the highways.
Suffice to state at this juncture that these recommendations are not only possible but practicable within the Nigerian context. What we need is improved legislation on traffic laws, robust public awareness on the traffic hazards associated with non-use of pedestrian bridges, enhancing the enforcement capacity of relevant government agencies, construction of more pedestrian bridges nationwide, improved funding on road safety matters, political will and collective responsibility of drivers and pedestrians to comply with related traffic rules and regulations.