Each year, more than 8,000 pedestrians are killed in the road accidents across Europe. Almost one out of four happens on a pedestrian crossing.
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) European Bureau calls for a minimum standardisation of markings, traffic lights and traffic signs on pedestrian crossings which is needed in order to improve the worst situations existing in a number of countries throughout Europe.
The Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) and 16 partner clubs have executed the pedestrian crossing assessment programme in the framework of the EuroTest consortium under the umbrella of the FIA European Bureau for the second consecutive year. The assessment 2009 clearly showed that more crossings had been rated negatively comparing to last year results.
310 pedestrian crossings in 31 European cities covering different types of crossings have been tested looking at the crossings system, accessibility, daytime and night time visibility. Even pedestrian crossings with traffic lights might prove risky and decrease the level of safety when the set-up and design of the crossing is not fine-tuned. An ultimate improvement in many countries could be performed via the “flashing green” as a transitional phase between the stable green and red light, which would enable people to make decisions based on their own physical condition. This together with the countdown devices as well as new technological solutions including an introduction of the LED-based traffic lights providing better visibility especially at night could prevent many accidents in the future. These steps are especially important in light of an improvement of living conditions for people with disabilities and the aging society in Europe.
Based on results, the best tested crossing is in Bratislava while Rotterdam is the city with the most crossings rated positively and Strasbourg has the highest number of “very good” crossings. 60% of all tested crossings were rated as “very good” or “good”; on the other hand 53 crossings out of 310 failed the test. The worst crossing was found in Milan and the only city with no crossing rated positively is Naples.
For detailed results of the Pedestrian Crossings Assessment 2009 and for clubs contacts visit: http://www.eurotestmobility.com