Are pedestrians taking less care?

Are pedestrians taking less care?

Are pedestrians taking less care?

First published in Letters by

I REFER to Mr Hawley’s letter of July 8 about speeding casualties.

Perhaps not surprisingly, he appears to only consider the rise in 20mph zone casualties as the fault of drivers.

Can I remind him that the propaganda used to justify blanket limits in York didn’t refer to casualty reduction but more to creating an atmosphere of apparent safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

Has he even considered that the boot may be on the other foot and pedestrians are now taking less care in the mistaken belief that in a 20mph area they are totally safe?

As a collision investigator I seem to spend more time looking into cases where it is pedestrians stepping out into the path of vehicles.

I have three such cases on going with pedestrians walking out in front of buses, none of which were speeding at the time and all have CCTV fitted to show the events.

In one case, the pedestrian is on a pelican crossing and walking out contrary to a red pedestrian light.

In all three the pedestrian never looks towards the approaching bus at all despite it being only metres away.

What next, someone telling us cyclists don’t jump red traffic lights or ride along footways?

M J Natt, Orchard Close, York.

Comments (14)

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10:00am Sat 12 Jul 14

sheddie says...

Utter nonsense. The 20 mph casualty figures were just for absolute numbers of casualties in 20 mph zones, not a PER MILE figure. As there are now lots more 20 mph zones than a few years ago obviously there will be more incidents on them. It says nothing about the per mile figure which is what matters for safety.

It's a cynically misleading use of stats, released as propaganda from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and swallowed whole by a press filled with innumerate arts graduates and taken up by gullible readers like Mr Natt.
Utter nonsense. The 20 mph casualty figures were just for absolute numbers of casualties in 20 mph zones, not a PER MILE figure. As there are now lots more 20 mph zones than a few years ago obviously there will be more incidents on them. It says nothing about the per mile figure which is what matters for safety. It's a cynically misleading use of stats, released as propaganda from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and swallowed whole by a press filled with innumerate arts graduates and taken up by gullible readers like Mr Natt. sheddie
  • Score: -8

11:46am Sat 12 Jul 14

LibDem says...

The per mile figures are interesting although using them 20 mph streets are still showing an increase in accidents while 30 mph and other speed limit roads are showing a reduction. Most would accept that this is a counterintuitive result.

The real test is whether there have been fewer accidents in York's new, signed only, 20 mph streets?

Early days, but the indications are that there has been no change to casualty rates. This is not entirely surprising as most of these roads had zero accident numbers over the last 3 years.

However, seriously injured accident levels on our trunk roads and at accident black-spots, such as in the City centre, continue to be significant.

The £600,000 spent on 20 mph signs would have been better used making improvements on roads with a consistently poor accident record.
The per mile figures are interesting although using them 20 mph streets are still showing an increase in accidents while 30 mph and other speed limit roads are showing a reduction. Most would accept that this is a counterintuitive result. The real test is whether there have been fewer accidents in York's new, signed only, 20 mph streets? Early days, but the indications are that there has been no change to casualty rates. This is not entirely surprising as most of these roads had zero accident numbers over the last 3 years. However, seriously injured accident levels on our trunk roads and at accident black-spots, such as in the City centre, continue to be significant. The £600,000 spent on 20 mph signs would have been better used making improvements on roads with a consistently poor accident record. LibDem
  • Score: 13

12:17pm Sat 12 Jul 14

pedalling paul says...

Yes there is a luntic minority of road users including cyclists, who are incapable of observing the law and the Highway Code's advice. I suspect that the continued use of hand held devices is repobnsible for making many pedestrains incapable of looking before they step off a footway.
Thankfully my utility bike has hub brakes which operate efficiently in all weathers, and that has helped me to save many a pedestrian from the potential consequences of their behaviour.
Yes there is a luntic minority of road users including cyclists, who are incapable of observing the law and the Highway Code's advice. I suspect that the continued use of hand held devices is repobnsible for making many pedestrains incapable of looking before they step off a footway. Thankfully my utility bike has hub brakes which operate efficiently in all weathers, and that has helped me to save many a pedestrian from the potential consequences of their behaviour. pedalling paul
  • Score: 7

12:17pm Sat 12 Jul 14

wallman says...

Mr. Natt a gullible reader? Surely if he was he wouldn't be an accident investigator a job which I believe he has done for years. What is your expertise sheddie? believing PP ?
Mr. Natt a gullible reader? Surely if he was he wouldn't be an accident investigator a job which I believe he has done for years. What is your expertise sheddie? believing PP ? wallman
  • Score: 4

1:05pm Sat 12 Jul 14

strangebuttrue? says...

I have said this before but this is my observation of behaviour in 20mph zones: -

Working at the front of someone's house in a 20 mph zone I was able to see the effect it has on kids. For some hours and over a number of days I witnessed the how 20 mph makes kids feel safe. They had a game they played in the road which was to wait for a slow moving car to come down the street and whilst peddling along side on the pavement or lying in wait they would suddenly swerve out into the road within feet of the approaching slow moving cars forcing drivers to take emergency avoiding action. Notably though these kids were not stupid. Without exception those drivers who choose to ignore the 20mph limit were spared this as the kids seemed to realise it would be too dangerous to swerve in front of a faster moving vehicle.
So having seen this for myself you do have to ask the question Mr Natt has raised.
I have said this before but this is my observation of behaviour in 20mph zones: - Working at the front of someone's house in a 20 mph zone I was able to see the effect it has on kids. For some hours and over a number of days I witnessed the how 20 mph makes kids feel safe. They had a game they played in the road which was to wait for a slow moving car to come down the street and whilst peddling along side on the pavement or lying in wait they would suddenly swerve out into the road within feet of the approaching slow moving cars forcing drivers to take emergency avoiding action. Notably though these kids were not stupid. Without exception those drivers who choose to ignore the 20mph limit were spared this as the kids seemed to realise it would be too dangerous to swerve in front of a faster moving vehicle. So having seen this for myself you do have to ask the question Mr Natt has raised. strangebuttrue?
  • Score: -18

3:00pm Sat 12 Jul 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

I'm always seeing pedestrians not bothering to wait for the green man at crossings and then witnessing near misses.
Electric cars or hybrids on battery power more likely and electric buses will become the silent killer.
Things can only get worse but what a waste of £600,000! What bunch of Muppets allowed this money to be spent?
I'm always seeing pedestrians not bothering to wait for the green man at crossings and then witnessing near misses. Electric cars or hybrids on battery power more likely and electric buses will become the silent killer. Things can only get worse but what a waste of £600,000! What bunch of Muppets allowed this money to be spent? ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: -7

4:24pm Sat 12 Jul 14

sheddie says...

I'm no PP supporter nor part of the 20mph lobby. But I am someone who deals with numbers and gets irritated when facts get misused, and the IAM figures do not show what the letter writer says they do. As an accident investigator he may be very expert in individual cases but not necessarily in aggregate statistics, on which policy should really be made - and if the spin suits his existing views he won't have been looking too critically at the validity of the underlying stats.

Plenty of others are backing up my view at e.g. this well known hotbed of 20mph fans:

http://www.pistonhea
ds.com/GASSING/topic
.asp?h=0&f=10&t=1422
980&nmt=IAM+make++a+
woeful+mistake
I'm no PP supporter nor part of the 20mph lobby. But I am someone who deals with numbers and gets irritated when facts get misused, and the IAM figures do not show what the letter writer says they do. As an accident investigator he may be very expert in individual cases but not necessarily in aggregate statistics, on which policy should really be made - and if the spin suits his existing views he won't have been looking too critically at the validity of the underlying stats. Plenty of others are backing up my view at e.g. this well known hotbed of 20mph fans: http://www.pistonhea ds.com/GASSING/topic .asp?h=0&f=10&t=1422 980&nmt=IAM+make++a+ woeful+mistake sheddie
  • Score: 12

8:05pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Stevie D says...

Regardless of the validity of the data around accident rates in 20mph zones, a key thing to consider is
As a collision investigator I seem to spend more time looking into cases where it is pedestrians stepping out into the path of vehicles.

It would be interesting to know if the pedestrians in question had headphones in, or were using a mobile at the time.
Regardless of the validity of the data around accident rates in 20mph zones, a key thing to consider is [quote]As a collision investigator I seem to spend more time looking into cases where it is pedestrians stepping out into the path of vehicles.[/quote] It would be interesting to know if the pedestrians in question had headphones in, or were using a mobile at the time. Stevie D
  • Score: -9

9:58pm Sat 12 Jul 14

strangebuttrue? says...

I see the score adjuster is in full swing again and that I particularly annoy it by keeping mentioning it. Better to mention it than not though as we see some people who still don't realise that this manipulation is happening.
I see the score adjuster is in full swing again and that I particularly annoy it by keeping mentioning it. Better to mention it than not though as we see some people who still don't realise that this manipulation is happening. strangebuttrue?
  • Score: 78

11:54am Sun 13 Jul 14

wallman says...

pp the score adjuster a mate of yours? what ever thread you go on you always have + scores even though you talk crap
pp the score adjuster a mate of yours? what ever thread you go on you always have + scores even though you talk crap wallman
  • Score: 64

7:42pm Sun 13 Jul 14

last of the mandms says...

I seem to remember a similar argument (s) regarding seat belts motorcycle helmets etc etc. logic says to me being hit by a vehicle at twenty is less damaging than at thirty. If pedestrians are becoming less cautious ( a fact I seriously doubt, as a pedestrian I am unaware what the sped limit is I gauge speed by observation) then the solution is not to make the environment more dangerous. As a layman I bow to Mike's experience and knowledge, but I notice he uses the phrase " I seem to spend more time", as a mobile service engineer I often get weeks where the repair ratio is abnormally high on one particular type of appliance but statistically this is insignificant. Correlation is not causation. There is a correlation between large feet and intelligence but large feet does not increase intelligence.
I seem to remember a similar argument (s) regarding seat belts motorcycle helmets etc etc. logic says to me being hit by a vehicle at twenty is less damaging than at thirty. If pedestrians are becoming less cautious ( a fact I seriously doubt, as a pedestrian I am unaware what the sped limit is I gauge speed by observation) then the solution is not to make the environment more dangerous. As a layman I bow to Mike's experience and knowledge, but I notice he uses the phrase " I seem to spend more time", as a mobile service engineer I often get weeks where the repair ratio is abnormally high on one particular type of appliance but statistically this is insignificant. Correlation is not causation. There is a correlation between large feet and intelligence but large feet does not increase intelligence. last of the mandms
  • Score: 1

10:26am Mon 14 Jul 14

York2000 says...

Why does the Press encourage this kind of bickering?!
Why does the Press encourage this kind of bickering?! York2000
  • Score: 1

4:56am Tue 15 Jul 14

Magicman! says...

Long and short answer is: yes, pedestrians are getting a more lakadasical ((spelling??) attitude when it comes to crossing the road - and this is not helped by more and more traffic lights with nannying phases that pander for those who seem to not have the brain power to look both ways and spot a gap in traffic to cross over. We also have Zebra crossing installed in the most stupid places imaginable (top of Coppergate is one example, the one in Heworth East Parade is another, as is the one on Crichton Avenue - those latter two are right on a crossroads junction) - in fact there is only 1 zebra crossing installation I know of in a worse location, in the market town of Wisbecwhere the crossing is where a dual carriageway ends at a roundabout and the crossing is 2 meters from the roundabout. Certain road layouts don't help either - the Minster Plazza and Kings Square give pedestrians a false sense of security in an area where (or, in the case of Kings Square, 'when') vehicular traffic has a right of passage which when combined with non-compliant road surfaces according to the Disability Descrimination Act will mean there is going to be a collision between a blind / partially sighted person and a road vehicle of some description... but on the Minster Plazza the risk of collision is that much higher as pedestrians simply do not pay attention - and that is the knub of the matter : not paying attention.

Stop Look Listen... if pedestrians in York are anything to go by, apparently schools don't teach this simple technique anymore...
Long and short answer is: yes, pedestrians are getting a more lakadasical ((spelling??) attitude when it comes to crossing the road - and this is not helped by more and more traffic lights with nannying phases that pander for those who seem to not have the brain power to look both ways and spot a gap in traffic to cross over. We also have Zebra crossing installed in the most stupid places imaginable (top of Coppergate is one example, the one in Heworth East Parade is another, as is the one on Crichton Avenue - those latter two are right on a crossroads junction) - in fact there is only 1 zebra crossing installation I know of in a worse location, in the market town of Wisbecwhere the crossing is where a dual carriageway ends at a roundabout and the crossing is 2 meters from the roundabout. Certain road layouts don't help either - the Minster Plazza and Kings Square give pedestrians a false sense of security in an area where (or, in the case of Kings Square, 'when') vehicular traffic has a right of passage which when combined with non-compliant road surfaces according to the Disability Descrimination Act will mean there is going to be a collision between a blind / partially sighted person and a road vehicle of some description... but on the Minster Plazza the risk of collision is that much higher as pedestrians simply do not pay attention - and that is the knub of the matter : not paying attention. Stop Look Listen... if pedestrians in York are anything to go by, apparently schools don't teach this simple technique anymore... Magicman!
  • Score: 4

12:59pm Tue 15 Jul 14

/kev/null says...

The Minster piazza (is that what it's called now? Ugh.) is a disazzta. Who thought of running a cycle route straight through an area that is full of visitors all looking up, and marking it as a cycle route using graphics on the ground. Genius.
The Minster piazza (is that what it's called now? Ugh.) is a disazzta. Who thought of running a cycle route straight through an area that is full of visitors all looking up, and marking it as a cycle route using graphics on the ground. Genius. /kev/null
  • Score: 2

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