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Zebra crossings scene of fifth of road accidents

The Local · 26 Mar 2012, 09:43

Published: 26 Mar 2012 08:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Mar 2012 09:43 GMT+02:00

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The German ACE motoring association study showed that 5,100 people were hit on zebra crossings last year, while the year before the figure was 5,500.

The ACE study showed that Berlin had the most chaotic roads in the country, and that it was the most dangerous state to be on foot. The share of drivers whose own errors led them to hitting a pedestrian twice as high in the capital than nationally.

Bremen and Hamburg were also dangerous, while the safest regions for pedestrians were Saxony Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

But the ACE also said that pedestrians often contributed to their misfortune on the roads – and that Berlin also had the most chaotic roads in the country.

The most frequent error was simply crossing the road without looking out for traffic, while suddenly emerging from behind something was also a common problem. Red lights at pedestrian crossings were also often ignored, the ACE said.

More than 30,000 pedestrians were involved in road traffic accidents in 2010 the study showed, with one in four of these due to the person on foot making a mistake. Younger and older people were particularly at risk according to the statistics.

The number of those injured in road traffic accidents in January rose by more than 23 percent on the previous year, to reach 27,100. The number of accidents was up by more than six percent to 189,300 – the number which left people injured or dead was up by nearly a quarter, the figures show.

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DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:40 March 26, 2012 by The-ex-pat
I would imagine that part of the problem is that people believe they have an automatic right to step onto a zebra crossing when they don't. You are supposed to stand and wait until the car has stopped before you step. I see it so often that people just step out without even looking. Of course it is then the car drivers fault. Same as when you hit a bike of a crossing even though it is illegal to ride over a crossing, or if you hit a person on rollerblades on the road. As the car driver it is always your fault even if a rider or pedestrian is the reason for the accident. These figures do not tell the whole picture.
10:58 March 26, 2012 by twisted
Echoing the excellent comments above -

Two points ­ First, I¦#39;ve noticed that many children will begin to cross the street at a zebra crossing without checking for oncoming traffic, assuming that the drivers of vehicles will stop for them, which fortunately, most do. But the assumption by the children could be wrong. Children should be taught to always check first before stepping into the street.

Secondly, are the numbers of bicyclist that ride on the sidewalk, turn and zip directly onto a zebra crossing at a speed that is often deceptive to drivers. It is my understanding that bike riders are supposed to walk their bikes across at a zebra crossing. Actually, I find many bicyclist to be both a danger to themselves and a hindrance. Children I can forgive, but adults acting stupidly, never. And I really dislike the Jan Ulrich wanna-bes with their racing bikes that can slow up traffic. If there is a dual sidewalk available, they should be required to use it.
11:21 March 26, 2012 by lucksi
What I got from the article:

You are 4 times as likely to get hit by a car when not using a zebra crossing.
11:42 March 26, 2012 by raandy
The point that a person must first step onto the crosswalk and wait for the cars to stop. I agree this is the rule. I have to take my children daily to school and cross the walkway. I often see people hit the gas as the children approach the zebra stripes.

I think when a crosswalk comes into view and you see children near or heading to it you should slow down and stop if in doubt as to the child,s intentions. Safety and common sencs and the welfare of the child or person should take precedence over the rule.
14:03 March 26, 2012 by lucksi
@raandy: Actually, the rules are already that you have to slow down when approaching a zebra crossing and you see people near by who want/might use it.

The pedestrian does not have to step into the road to have the right of way, it is enough that they want to cross and you see it (by them approaching the crossing or waiting or whatever)

§26 of StVO
15:26 March 26, 2012 by nemo999
It is a target rich environment. Yes you slow down for two reasons, one is the let the pedestrian/victim feel that they are safe, and two is to allow enough distance so that the closure maneuver is smooth and well coordinated.
17:10 March 26, 2012 by nolibs
@The-ex-pat - you are so right about this. I've argued with people when I noted that they didn't even look. Their answer is that they have the right of way. My answer is that they can die in the knowledge that they were right, but it sure as hell won't save them.
18:08 March 26, 2012 by zeddriver
@nolibs @The-ex-pat

Bang on.

When one is face to face with 3,000 pounds of steel. That is not the time to aggressively assert your rights.

I would how ever be more than happy to assert my rights as a pedestrian in a zebra crossing by fore checking one of the many half wits on bicycles.
21:11 March 26, 2012 by Landmine
I have seen my share of idiots jumping across the road while I am heading right for them w/o so much as even looking. There is a particular intersection in my town which has a bakery and an above ground Ubahn stop across the road with Zebra stripes. At least 5 times in the last year, some idiot runs out of the bakery and across the zebra strip to catch on oncoming train without so much as looking until they hear my wheels screeching on the road trying to stop and not turn them into hood ornaments for my car. They usually point to the zebra stripe as if it was their god given right, never mind there is a light telling them when to cross.

They usually get a mouthful of obscenities from me but it keeps on happening.

Such Morons, who on earth would trust crossing a road without even looking....
22:57 March 26, 2012 by MEHHHH
as black sheep i never cross zebras ;)
23:24 March 26, 2012 by zeddriver
@Chango Mutney

"Perhaps drivers in the city should drive with more care by observing who is walking along a footpath and who is likely to suddenly decide they need to cross the road."

That may work in a very small village. But venture into a big city with busy side walks and that theory comes to a sudden halt. Ones eyes would never be focused on the task at hand. Driving.

It is also the responsibility of a pedestrian to be aware of their surroundings. Maybe they should pull their eyes away from the iPhone screen or perhaps pull out the earbuds so the might hear an approaching auto. It's a two way street. The pedestrian has responsibilities as well.
11:32 March 27, 2012 by mrcontinental
The world is full of stupid people - some are on foot, some are on bikes but MOST are behind the wheels of cars and trucks. The bottom line is that YOU are operating a tool that can be deadly at any given time so you need to proceed with that frame of mind. Children dart into the street and people jaywalk so one must always be prepared for this possibilty because if you are not you can easily kill someone and if you think that saying "I had the right of way" is going to erase the fact that you ran over someones child and clear your coinscience then you are lost as a human being.
15:37 March 27, 2012 by raandy
@Lucks Thank you for the update and information.
14:05 March 28, 2012 by abbottsimth
The most frequent error was simply crossing the road without looking out for traffic, while suddenly emerging from behind something was also a common problem. Red lights at pedestrian crossings were also often ignored, the ACE said.

21:33 March 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I dare say the often seen van driver swinging around the corner without stopping or looking whilst talking on his phone is a big cause.
08:53 March 31, 2012 by MissionaryKim
My daughter works at a daycare in Berlin and just the other day a mother and child were crossing in the Zebra crossing (going across from the daycare). A car was stopped waiting for them. Another car came came from behind, started honking at the car that was stopped, then impatiently flew around the car and into the Zebra crossing nearly killing the woman and child.
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