Road Safety News

Pedestrians in Essex urged to focus on safety

Wednesday 1st November 2017

The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) has launched a new campaign on the back of figures which show that more than 1,000 adult pedestrians have been injured, and 40 killed, in road traffic collisions in the county during the last three years.

Analysis shows that pedestrians were primarily at fault for 45% of the collisions that resulted in death or serious injury  – meaning many of these would have been ‘completely avoidable’ by following some very basic road safety rules.

The ‘Time to Reflect’ campaign aims to increase awareness among pedestrians, drivers and riders in a bid to reduce avoidable injuries and deaths on the county’s roads.

The campaign calls on road users to stay aware of all potential hazards and to consider how best to make themselves seen when out and about in the dark. Suggestions include carrying a torch, wearing reflective clothing or carrying something made of reflective material.

The statistics show that: 

  • 1,067 pedestrians have been involved in road traffic collisions over the past three years including 40 fatal, 309 serious and 718 slight injuries.
  • 25% of collisions which caused death or serious injury involved pedestrians or drivers who were in a hurry or acted carelessly/recklessly.
  • 14% of collisions which caused death or serious injury involved pedestrians impaired by drugs or alcohol. 

Nicola Foster, chair of SERP, said: “Both drivers and pedestrians have a crucial role to play in reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.

“With the clocks having gone back on Sunday it becomes even more important that cyclists and pedestrians on their way home make every effort to ensure they can be seen by other road users and that car drivers look out for pedestrians and cyclists.

“It is only by looking out for each other that we will stop the heartbreak that is caused by unnecessary deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”

Cllr Ian Grundy, Essex County Council cabinet member for highways and chair of the SERP board, said: “Road safety is a priority for us as even one death on our roads is one too many.

“Please take responsibility for your safety on Essex roads – whether you are behind the wheel, cycling on our roads or walking along the pavement. We all have a role to play in making Essex roads safer.”

Category: Pedestrians.



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If we know that as humans we are likely to make errors a small percentage of the time then surely we have to look at the system as a whole with road users a part of the system not just in isolation.
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

I would suggest Charles, that our present highway system of design standards, priorities, segregation, rules, regulations, engineered features etc. has served us well, when you take in to account the ratio of collisions to number of road users, road user movements and distances travelled, without incidents. Collisions are rare and generally happen when one or more of the said road users did something wrong, careless or stupid whilst using are highway system. It's not the system - it's some of the users thereof.

Good luck with "...When I want to walk across the road I am entitled to do it when and where I like..." That'll work.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (6)

So not only are we trying to blame motorists for the failings of the road system design we have provided them with, but now we are trying to blame its even more vulnerable victims too - the pedestrians.

We lay meticulously demarcated and unobstructed racetrack-like strips of straight tarmac down the middle of our public highways and expect pedestrians to take the blame when they fall victim to the inevitable consequences?

How about we start deterring rather than encouraging motorists from taking priority on our public roads, and in particular our urban streets, and remind them that they have no more priority over any of the road space than do pedestrians? When I want to walk across the road I am entitled to do it when and where I like, and without fear of being run over by a motorist who has been misled and brainwashed to mistakenly believe that I should wait for them to pass first.

How can we possibly hold a pedestrian responsible, remembering that they range from small children to the elderly and from the fit and healthy to those who may have any combination of the available physical and mental disorders that can afflict us? Perhaps it's time to stop this scapegoating Essex, and to start laying the blame where it belongs, with those who have created an environment which is unfit for purpose - unfit for pedestrians to use without having to, apparently, take responsibility for the way motorists have been encouraged to use the roads.
Charles, England

Agree (8) | Disagree (6)

Many of the collisions happen during the hours of darkness and many where there is no street lighting. Many involve the use of alcohol by the pedestrian. Pedestrians just step straight from pavement to carriageway without looking as distracted by phone/music with car drivers having little chance of stopping - there is only so much 'brake covering' drivers can do on open roads. At crossings pedestrians don't wait for their green man and take chances. Pedestrians dress in dark clothing and in rain/dark it can be very difficult to see them. As you can imagine, we have analysed each Fatal and serious collision in considerable detail to determine what messages we can give to whom (drivers included of course) in order to start the behaviour change process. Pedestrians; well ALL road users must start caring and sharing and taking responsibility. I am sure most authorities must have very similar data. All suggestions on how to deal with it are, of course, most welcome!
Nicola, Safer Essex Roads Partnership

Agree (7) | Disagree (9)

You might have missed my point Bob. When I said 'at walking pace' I meant when and if they do enter onto the c/way, they do so usually at walking pace (and running even) and therefore can be seen in good time by the driver, who can slow or stop if necessary. Mind you that only applies to the non- speeders - those who do speed should have to accept responsibility for their collisions.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (3)

Its no problem with pedestrians being slow moving and on the pavements, its when they enter the faster moving traffic system, the road, that things go wrong. Vehicles move at speeds up to and above 30 mph depending on the locations and road type. However its a rare ocurrence when a motor vehicle jumps onto the pavement to runover pedestrians but not rare that pedestrians put themselves into danger on our busy road. Sometimes they come into coflict with vehicles. Just the other day I helped three foreigners who were crossing at a roundabout and got stuck, unable to move with traffic all around them.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (2) | Disagree (3)

I think we can safely assume that pedestrians are normally moving about on the highway at walking pace, so it's beyond me how a motorist doesn't see them let alone collide with them. It's a cop-out in these instances for the driver not to accept, some, if not all the responsibility.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (7)

This has been known for a very long time but not qualified. So it's not just the car that kills as some have argued. It's the action of many pedestrians that for whatever reason puts them into danger on our road space.

This study puts it fairly and squarley onto the shoulders of pedestrians as it says they were primarliy at fault for their own demise.

Some believe a driver can be considered completely at fault all the time or at least a contributory factor. That said it's also the case that many other pedestrians, although not considered primarariy responsible, can also bear a degree of fault on their part. In other words again a contributory cause to the accident. We may never know what that statistic is. Could be as high as another 30/40%.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (4) | Disagree (5)