Pedestrians: take care

2016-05-24 06:00

Pedestrains should also follow the rules of the road.

It’s a sad reality in South Africa that pedestrians constitute more than a third of all road death fatalities, especially at festive season peak times. Many South Africans do not have a driving licence, can’t afford public transport, and are forced to walk wherever they need to be.

Unfortunately many of these pedestrians don’t always follow the rules of the road, and the results are often catastrophic.

In January, for instance, the minister of Transport Dipuo Peters noted that up to 35% of all fatalities on the country’s roads during the December 2015 festive period were pedestrians.

“We find too often that pedestrians don’t understand the dangers they pose to themselves, and other road users, by running across busy highways and roads, and by not being visible enough to motorists. Road safety needs to begin at a young age, and it needs to include education on how to be a safer pedestrian,” the Automobile Association (AA) says in a statement.

The AA says although it is illegal to walk on national highways (except under certain conditions such as when your car has broken down), enforcement of this law is poor, leading to risks and danger.

“While we understand there is a need for people to make a living, there is also a need for safety. We call on government to be more cognisant of people walking on, or crossing, highways, or operating small businesses on the side of national roads where they are placing themselves and motorists in danger.”

The AA says it is important for motorists to adapt to the conditions they are driving in, and to always be aware of their surroundings. Further tips to ensure better road safety for motorists and pedestrians are:

. Pedestrians may be distracted by electronic devices, making them unpredictable. Always be on the lookout for potential problems when driving.

. There will be more pedestrians in built-up areas.

. Schools are especially dangerous as children often don’t think about the traffic.Think about the children because chances are they are not thinking about you.

. Take care when passing a taxi or a bus. Passengers may be alighting and may be unsighted of oncoming traffic.

. In poor visibility be especially mindful that pedestrians may be on the road. Pedestrians wearing dark clothes without any reflective covering are especially difficult to see.

. Follow the rules of the road, pay attention, and drive to the conditions of the road.

Pedestrians, too, should ensure their own safety. Some tips for pedestrians include:

. Make yourself as visible as possible, consider wearing reflective gear.

. Don’t walk or cross national highways or roads.

. Don’t use electronic devices while walking; always be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions (such as texting while walking).

. Don’t drink or use drugs before walking on the road. If your senses are impaired, you will not be able to pay sufficient attention to your surroundings.

. Don’t gamble with your safety by trying to run through traffic, at some point you will lose.

“We are again urging every road user in South African, be they motorists, motorbike riders, cyclists, or pedestrians to ensure their own safety by following the rules of the road, and not to take chances with their lives because their actions impact on others,” the AA concludes.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Hlaudi's R11.4m bonus

58 minutes ago

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.