Pedestrian’s safe behaviour

We all are pedestrians so we make a part of the traffic system by interacting with the rest of the users of the streets in a safe or risky way.

Pedestrians’ vulnerability is well-known. In a crash between a vehicle, even the lightest one, and a pedestrian, this one is who will probably will take the brunt of it. However, we all are pedestrians and as we are this since we are very young, as a part of a natural process of our movement in the world, we tend to forget that coexisting with the increasing number of vehicles in our society is a challenge, that is not harmless for being daily.

Crossing the street or walking absent-minded, not to respect traffic lights, playing in the road, crossing at any part of the block, walking through the street, crossing with low railroad barriers, and so on are some of the risk behaviours that we are used to doing without thinking about consequences.

It is important to think about the conducts highlighted as risky ones, what the risk consists on and which the safe behaviour is. And to think about what encourages us to take risks every day and also about the convenience of replacing risky conducts with safe ones.

Safe behaviour when circulating as pedestrians

When walking at the city

  • The road is the place for vehicles’ circulation or traffic, and the sidewalks and/or pedestrians paths are the places for pedestrians’ walk or cross.
  • Walk along the centre of the sidewalk or near it, far from the curb or the edge.
  • Pay attention to the exits and entrances of repair shops, garages and parking zones.
  • Avoid playing in the sidewalk.
  • If you walk with a group, do it one after the other to avoid taking up all the width of the sidewalk, leaving a free space so that the rest of the pedestrians can pass.
  • Avoid circulating with roller-skates or skateboards along the sidewalk and/or the road.
  • Little children must walk by the hand of adults.
  • Animals must walk tied with a leash.
  • If there aren’t sidewalks to walk or if they are blocked, walk as close as possible of the houses and on the contrary direction of the vehicles.

If you must walk through a route

  • Walk as far of the asphalt band as possible.
  • Walk on the contrary direction of the vehicular traffic circulating along the closer lane.
  • If you walk in groups, do it in single file.
  • Always make people see you and, especially at night, wear white or clear clothes and take retro-reflective materials on them so that you can be seen by drivers. If possible, take a torch for the front part.

 

In order to cross

Always cross at the corners or pedestrian paths. There, vehicles circulate slower and pedestrians have priority.

 

 

  • Wait on the sidewalk to cross.
  • Look carefully at both sides before crossing. Look at the left, at the right and the left once again, or vice versa. Do it also in one-way streets.
  • Don’t cross running or don’t stop on the road to talk or play.
  • Cross at the shortest way, that is, in straight line and perpendicular to the sidewalk and with quick step.
  • When you are crossing, make sure that vehicles are not coming closer and, if any one suddenly appears, it’s better to stop without hesitating and wait until it passes.
  • If there are bridges or tunnels for pedestrians, use them because they are placed in places where there are a lot of circulating vehicles, at a high speed and/or the artery is too wide with a high risk of vehicles running over pedestrians.
  • Pay attention to the siren of emergency vehicles (fire fighters, ambulances, an so on) whom you always have to let pass first.
  • Cross paying attention and avoid doing it while talking on the cell phone or listening to music.
  • Pay attention to the vehicles that come from the other road and can turn.
  • Avoid surprising drivers and appearing suddenly before of behind parked vehicles or big objects that prevent us from being seen by drivers.
  • When you are waiting for the bus or a cab, do it on the sidewalk and don’t go down to the road, because that might cause an accident, as well as provoking the interruption of the normal vehicular flow.

 

If you must cross a route

The same advice given above and:

  • Cross at a zone where the visibility is good, avoiding curves or parts with plants or obstacles that prevent from seeing and being seen.
  • Wait until you don’t see vehicles to cross or do it only if you don’t distinguish the two headlights to make sure that you have enough time.

In roads with traffic lights

  • Stop on the sidewalk before the pedestrian traffic light in red or, if there isn’t one, when the vehicular traffic light of the road that you have to cross is green, taking it as a guide.
  • Cross only when the traffic light with the pedestrian figure is green or white (colour varies according to the devices) in a fixed way.
  • If the pedestrian traffic light is intermittent, don’t cross.
  • If you have already started to cross and the pedestrian traffic light starts to twinkle, hurry up.
  • Wait until vehicles stop before starting to cross, although the traffic light is in favour of the pedestrian
  • Look at the drivers of the parked vehicles before the traffic light to make sure that they are paying attention to the situation.

In grade crossings

  • Always cross along the walkways.
  • Look at both sides carefully before crossing and while crossing.
  • Don’t cross while the alarm is ringing or the railroad barrier is low.
  • Don’t cross if you see the train is coming, although it seems to be far.

Traffic agent

Traffic agents are people who are in charge of organizing traffic and making it safer by controlling that everybody respects the rules to circulate. That’s why what an agent indicates must always be respected, although traffic lights or other signals indicate something else.