Spanish drivers and zebra crossings

Some comparative data.

Trebots @ Thursday January 17th 2013 12:07

Don Colbo is at it again, and I'd generally agree, making the additional observation that they tend to accelerate as they approach to intimidate anyone brave enough to stick a leg out. But then there's a paper on this very issue in the intriguingly abbreviated Accid Anal Prev by A Várhelyi of the Department of Traffic Planning and Engineering, Lund University, Sweden:

The results show that the frequency of giving way is 5%. Drivers do not observe the law concerning speed behaviour at the zebra crossing, as they do not "adapt the speed in such way that they do not endanger pedestrians who are already on, or are about to step onto the zebra crossing". In encounters, three out of four drivers maintain the same speed or accelerate and only one out of four slows down or brakes. These results indicate that maintained high speed (even exceeding the speed limit of 50 km hour-1) is the signal from the drivers that they do not intend to give way to the pedestrian at the zebra crossing. The conclusion is that encounters between cars and pedestrians at the zebra crossing are critical situations in which the driver has to be influenced before he reaches the decision zone at 50 to 40 m before the zebra crossing in order to prevent the 'signalling by speed' behaviour.

And if the Swedes drive like arseholes, then so apparently do the residents of Singapore, another pretty totalitarian society:

Look at this news, that basta*d was speeding, not slowing down before the zebra crossing, and as a pedestrian, I can tell you there are some drivers that don't slow down prior to reaching a zebra crossing, in fact, they speed past, it's like either you give way to them or they run you down, they are playing the intimidation game, of course pedestrian will give way, accident who die first? Car die or pedestrian die? Don't need a smart person to figure that out. I even remember one incident at SGH where an id*otic inhuman driver horned at a old man slowing crossing at the zebra crossing, that driver should rot in hell. To all relevant agencies, please do your job to enforce, I'm not paying tax for nothing, make our road safe, increase fines, send out more patrols, install more speed cam, yes, better install speed cam at zebra crossing too since nowadays it's like the in-thing to speed even at zebra crossing.

One got shouted at the other day for crossing a zebra with the nice little green man smiling at one, and one can run after the bugger and tear off wing mirrors, but until every pedestrian is issued with an AK47 things will not change.

Ronald Reagan got that one so wrong:

I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.


  1. A Nun
    January 18th 2013 11:13

    But in Spain 0% of drivers stop when they see someone approaching a crossing, so if your feeling-safe threshold is somewhere between 0 and 5 then Spain is going to seem absolutely terrifying.

  2. Trebots
    January 18th 2013 11:56

    When I approach a Spanish zebra crossing my thoughts are far away from probabilities and already with the rewards that await me in heaven - chicken sarnies and crumhorns, probably.


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