It’s a very misguided belief that crashes are somehow acceptable if something went wrong ‘suddenly,’ on the road ahead.
Writing this as a retired traffic patrol police officer who has dealt with and investigated countless crashes, I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve been at a crash scene and had drivers tell me:
“It wasn’t my fault. Suddenly they [drove/walked/ran/cycled] right out in front of me!”
Would YOU, as a driver, unfailingly be expecting people to get off the blue bus in these photos, into the right-hand lane in front of you?
A few days ago, while we were running an advanced driving course in Albany, NY, we saw a bus stop in the second lane from the curb to let people get off, and it was horrifying to watch. Fortunately, no vehicles came.
While it is clear that crosswalks must be suitably designed for disabled users, it is equally essential that drivers are always prepared to make it safe for such individuals to cross. Unfortunately, however, far too many drivers are oblivious to the things that require their attention.
A study in the USA found that the fatality rate for people using wheelchairs when crossing roads is 36% higher than for regular pedestrians.
Just a few days ago, on June 11, 2018, NYSDOT Acting Commissioner Paul Karas announced a $62 million investment in the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, here in our own home state of New York . This multi-agency initiative will include the Department of Health, DMV, Capital District Transportation Authority and local enforcement agencies. This is, of course, to be warmly welcomed, but let’s get straight to the point, the USA has a stunningly bad track record for pedestrian injuries and deaths, with almost exactly six thousand being killed nationwide, and a vastly greater number being injured, during the last statistical year alone.