Pedestrian Priority: an unresolved matter.

94% of the drivers don’t give priority to the pedestrians

Pedestrians, who are the most vulnerable users of traffic system and people who walk along the public thoroughfare, are unprotected. Without protective bodywork, with a small size and not easy to be seen, they suffer serious injuries in case of being run over. That’s why Argentine Traffic Law, in line with other countries’ law, says that vehicles must give priority to pedestrians who cross the street properly through the corners or crosswalks, and with traffic lights in favor of them (where there are traffic lights).
This would increase road safety remarkably by reducing pedestrian’s mortality rate. This priority is very respected in developed countries, where offenders are controlled and punished.
In Argentina, 21% of people who die in traffic accidents are pedestrians, percentage that increases in cities, such as Buenos Aires, where they are the 40% of the fatal victims. Because of this, Luchemos por la Vida has decided to investigate about the causes of this scourge, by observing systematically this group’s behavior and their relationship with vehicle traffic.
Luchemos por la Vida decided to measure, in the City of Buenos Aires, if drivers give priority to the pedestrians and, according to the results that we obtained, this priority is ignored by most of the drivers. This situation accounts for the high percentage of victims among pedestrians and, also, their risky behavior because they don’t find incentives to cross through the corners. We expect social awareness and everybody’s responsibility to increase and, at the same time, that offenders are controlled and punished, to prevent so many absurd fatal accidents.

Respect to the pedestrian priority

They give priority to the pedestrian: 6% of the drivers

Total of situations Situation vehicle-pedestrians Given Not given
1150 Total of observed situations 6% 94%

Of them:

628 Vehicles that circulate straight ahead through an avenue/street that pedestrians are trying to cross through the corner or crosswalk (without traffic lights) 2% 98%
522 Vehicles that turn in the corner or crosswalk that pedestrians are trying to cross 11%


Giving pedestrian priority according kind of driver They give They don’t give
Particular drivers 7% 93%
Professional drivers 5% 95%
Motorcyclists 0% 100%

Research carried out in the City of Buenos Aires, from Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 18:00 in June, 2012, with a total of 1150 situations vehicle-pedestrians. They are all cases in which the driver could decide whether stop the vehicle or not to give priority to pedestrians, and in which pedestrians had already started to cross, excluding equivocal situations.