Monday 19 April 2010

Inadequate pedestrian crossing time

New research has found that for many elderly people, pedestrian crossings do not give them enough them to make it safely to the other side.

You hardly need to be an octogenarian to find it difficult to get across a signalled crossing before the green woman sign goes back to red. Even an olympic athlete wouldn’t manage the Oxford Circus ‘scramble’ at green. Lighting phase time allocation is just one small aspect of the way in which transport planning systematically discriminates against pedestrians and favours motorists. It’s the kind of thing few drivers are even aware of, in a car-centric society.

Adding just an extra second or two to the overall crossing time could make all the difference, they claim.

Nearly 200 pedestrians over the age of 70 were killed on Britain’s roads in 2008, according to official figures.

But there’s an obvious solution. Get all these doddery old folk driving. Have you had a mild cardiac arrest or a few strokes, or perhaps have difficulty in seeing? Not to worry. The only person who has to verify fitness to drive after the age of 75 is the driver. And to help matters still further

The RAC Foundation called for road signs to carry larger lettering to help Britain's ageing motorists.

Only the most fanatical kind of environmentalist would argue that if you can’t read road signs, you obviously shouldn’t be driving.