Pedestrian Safety Depends On Pedestrians
Some discussion going on over at the Times- Standard article on traffic calming and Eureka's high accident rate. I was glad to see the police officer quoted point out that pedestrians are at fault in many accidents.
Seems to me the vast majority of car vs. pedestrian accidents could have been avoided had the pedestrian paid more attention to oncoming traffic. Can anyone think of one vehicle vs. pedestrian accident around here that could NOT have been prevented had the pedestrian been paying more attention?
I can only think of one that's close: A person I know got hit in a crosswalk while crossing on a green light. I believe the car turned into the crosswalk from behind her, but even in that case had she been paying closer attention to traffic she might have avoided being hit (I do check behind me when I cross the street).
That one might not be as clear cut as most. In nearly all cases I'm aware of, had pedestrians been looking for oncoming traffic, they could have avoided being hit, regardless of what the driver was doing.
Thus I'm very skeptical at traffic calming ideas. They'll likely just make things worse, making pedestrians feel even more safe than they really are. When pedestrians feel safe, they don't pay attention. As someone pointed out in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat a while ago:
"It's easier for a pedestrian to see an oncoming car than it is for a driver to see a pedestrian."- Comment regarding collisions in Sonoma County