What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

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What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby find_bruce » Fri May 25, 2018 11:21 am

Interesting article on the ABC today 'Poor drivers, bad road design': What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?
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What caught my eye was
Victoria Walks commissioned research into senior citizens and pedestrian deaths, and Mr Rossiter said the result was clear.

"We found the most common crash scenario is right-turning vehicles and the second most common is left-turning. They're both where drivers should be giving way," he said.

He added that roads were designed for people in cars — what he dubbed "canned people" — and pedestrians — "fresh people" — were a second thought.


Unsurprisingly arald screwloose had nothing to say when it comes to actual pedestrian safety.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Calvin27 » Fri May 25, 2018 11:38 am

Not sure what the macro statistics are, but in a lot of cases lowering speed limits have an adverse effect on pedestrian accidents. Case in point Warragul road which went from 80kph to 40kph over a few years.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Thoglette » Fri May 25, 2018 11:45 am

Calvin27 wrote:Not sure what the macro statistics are

I am. They are very clear.
Speed limits under 40kph - survivable.
Speed limits over 60kph - lethal. And drivers can't maintain situational awareness (SMIDSY)

At 20kph the accident rate => 0 and once more, kids can play on the street.

We've known this for decades but the MGIF car-first attitudes in the Anglosphere have resulted in these being pretty much ignored.

Calvin27 wrote:Case in point Warragul road which went from 80kph to 40kph over a few years.

Got some data? Particularly # of peds trying to use road; actual vehicle speeds and accident causes?

(i.e. I expect an an "adverse effect" if people start trying to cross the road but MV users keep treating it like a 8 lane freeway)
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby queequeg » Fri May 25, 2018 12:53 pm

I am currently reading Mikeal Colville-Andersen's new book, "Copenhagenize - The definitive guide to global bicycle urbanism", and while it obviously focuses on Bicycles, the book is actually about building livable cities and returning space to people, not cars.

I am only up to the Chapter 4, and already I am hooked. The focus on the idea that we have given so much of our space over the motor vehicle is a central theme,and poor design features prominently. He's already started touching on speed limits and how they are set (85th percentile, based on the speed that motorists would like to travel!).

Anyway, why so many pedestrian deaths? Poor road design, poor driver skill, total lack of connection to your environment (sealed in sound proof metal cage), and the general view that pedestrians should stay cowering on the footpath and stay away from cars who "own the road".

It actually makes me quite angry and sad at the same time that we have let the motor vehicle dominate our cities and drive public policy.

This book is a must read for everyone in government.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Toyopet » Fri May 25, 2018 1:09 pm

There was much mention of "Victim Blaming", both in the news article and the TV clip.
Sounds very familiar.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Howzat » Fri May 25, 2018 1:09 pm

Calvin27 wrote:Not sure what the macro statistics are, but in a lot of cases lowering speed limits have an adverse effect on pedestrian accidents. Case in point Warragul road which went from 80kph to 40kph over a few years.


"I don't know much about this topic, but allow me to contribute an unsubstantiated absurdity"

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby human909 » Fri May 25, 2018 2:09 pm

Howzat wrote:
Calvin27 wrote:Not sure what the macro statistics are, but in a lot of cases lowering speed limits have an adverse effect on pedestrian accidents. Case in point Warragul road which went from 80kph to 40kph over a few years.


"I don't know much about this topic, but allow me to contribute an unsubstantiated absurdity"


It is somewhat believable in certain circumstances. Eg reduced pedestrian activity results in fewer accidents... Scare pedestrians away from roads and you fewer incidents are certainly believable.

Of course the severity of collisions goes up with speed. And lets not forget all the other negatives of discouraging pedestrians from our streets.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Tequestra » Fri May 25, 2018 2:13 pm

One thing I have always found curious about the road rules in Australia is how much it can cost a heavy-metal vehicle driver in terms of licence suspension and fines for doing nothing wrong except having, for example, two(2) cans of beer after work at the pub before driving home rather than one(1). Then, the driver in the car park next to 0.05+ criminal gets the caffeine buzz drinking two(2) cans of coke, gets in the car and pulls out of the carpark into a cyclist or pedestrian, or another car, breaking the road rules, creating carnage, and then usually getting away scot free by that excuse often cited around here, SMIDSY.

If it can cost a driver thousands for doing something arguably harmless to anyone, then why are there not penalties for causing an actual collision, injuries or death to others, even if they are breathalysed at less than 0.05?

If there were equivalent penalties for actually causing death or injury to others on the roads as there are for drinking 0.0001% over the blood/alcohol limit and causing none at all, then would that not help to discourage heavy-metal car drivers from running over pedestrians when turning corners, as well as other circumstances? What is the penalty for killing other citizens behind the wheel if one is not over 0.05? I am not aware that there are any such penalties in Western Australia, and I think this general consensus amongst the population that there's nothing wrong with causing an *accident if you're sober could be contributing to a lesser degree of the Care Factor towards other citizens when inside the big box.

If I was The Boss, I'd at least make it a five(5) year license suspension for causing the death of another road user, pedestrian, cyclist, or heavy-metal vehicle occupant.

* That wrong word, 'accident' makes me red with anger every time I hear or see someone speak or write it. It's an excuse. "Oh, sorry about the accident" is like something out of National Lampoon does London if you remember the sketch. It is not an 'accident' in the mind of the dead pedestrian. It is a killing if it is not premeditated, not a murder, and not on any way an accident. If anyone uses that word around you, I hope that you will do me a favour and correct their choice of words.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Aushiker » Fri May 25, 2018 2:14 pm

Thoglette"[quote="Calvin27 wrote:Case in point Warragul road which went from 80kph to 40kph over a few years.

Got some data? Particularly # of peds trying to use road; actual vehicle speeds and accident causes?[/quote]

+1 Would like to see the actual research data that supports this claim ...

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Calvin27 » Fri May 25, 2018 2:47 pm

Aushiker wrote:
Thoglette"[quote="Calvin27 wrote:Case in point Warragul road which went from 80kph to 40kph over a few years.

Got some data? Particularly # of peds trying to use road; actual vehicle speeds and accident causes?


+1 Would like to see the actual research data that supports this claim ...[/quote]

You can find the commissioners report on that particular intersection (it is controversial because it's the highest revenue camera) - I'm off phone atm.

But the history goes, they went from 80 to 70kph, then to 60kph. Then they introduced 40kph zones, while keeping adjacent roads at 60/50kph. That is when pedestrians started getting hit and just the justification they needed for speed cameras.

Just for the record, I am not against lowering speed limits. I just think a lot of the time they are not very well thought out - in particular the pedestrian behavioral response when said traffic slows down.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby human909 » Fri May 25, 2018 2:54 pm

Tequestra wrote:One thing I have always found curious about the road rules in Australia is how much it can cost a heavy-metal vehicle driver in terms of licence suspension and fines for doing nothing wrong except having, for example, two(2) cans of beer after work at the pub before driving home rather than one(1). Then, the driver in the car park next to 0.05+ criminal gets the caffeine buzz drinking two(2) cans of coke, gets in the car and pulls out of the carpark into a cyclist or pedestrian, or another car, breaking the road rules, creating carnage, and then usually getting away scot free by that excuse often cited around here, SMIDSY.


I totally agree. It has come from the normalising and acceptance of 'accidents'. Then the response to a spiraling road toll was not to punish those who have accidents but to punish those who are statistically more likely to have an accident. AKA drunk drivers, speeding drivers. Unfortunately we have gone nuts about even moderate speeding and tipsy driving. (not that I condone either)

Tequestra wrote:If it can cost a driver thousands for doing something arguably harmless to anyone, then why are there not penalties for causing an actual collision, injuries or death to others, even if they are breathalysed at less than 0.05?

The mentality of accidents can happen to anybody. Scares any motorist including those who make the laws.

Funny this mentality of accidents can happen to anybody doesn't extend to workplace safety. There you can get the book throw at you for safety breaches and half a library thrown at for actual injuries/deaths. Surely that is how it should be?


The fact is that most collisions aren't intentional so there are good reasons why we don't send people off to the slammer readily. But I struggle to think of good reasons why we shouldn't wield the driving suspension stick with enthusiasm for ANY careless mistake somebody makes that results in injury.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Jmuzz » Fri May 25, 2018 3:05 pm

Is there a spike? Graph of yearly pedestrian fatalities wider than 2 years?

A quick search indicates it's down on the 5 year average, but that wasn't a great source.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Tequestra » Fri May 25, 2018 3:11 pm

human909 wrote: ...not to punish those who have accidents but to punish those who are statistically more likely to have an accident ...

versus
human909 wrote:ANY careless mistake somebody makes that results in injury.

Thank you for agreeing, mate. It is a rather politically-charged comparison, and I have just breathed a nice sigh of relief.

I am not condoning drink-driving, nor speeding, so I am glad not to have been shot down in flames for it. I would just rather share these roads with someone who has not just crashed into an innocent victim than share them with someone who has. I am not as worried about someone driving at 61km/h on a dual-carriageway 60km/h limit highway (which was the last speeding fine my licence was suspended for - clear, sunny afternoon, left lane, in a convoy of traffic with no side-streets) as I am about someone driving into me at 59km/h in a 60km/h zone, and walking away with that usual excuse.

If there were well-known penalties for causing injury or death, unlike the populist system targeting minorities that we endure now, then people driving cars would be encouraged to feel as cautious when they drive in the city as I reckon most cyclists already do anyway, because of those cars.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Calvin27 » Fri May 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Jmuzz wrote:Is there a spike? Graph of yearly pedestrian fatalities wider than 2 years?

A quick search indicates it's down on the 5 year average, but that wasn't a great source.


Appendix D shows the stats. Shows some variability, but generally can be summarised: 1987-1995 - low pedestrian casualties, 1995-2000 increasing pedestrian casualties, 2005 beyond, almost double that of he 1987-1955 era.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Tequestra » Fri May 25, 2018 3:53 pm

Calvin27 wrote:1995-2000 increasing pedestrian casualties, 2005 beyond, almost double that of he 1987-1955 era.

I understand that correlation is not necessarily causation, but it is nice to think that I lost my drivers' license for seven(7) years in 1995, and then moved overseas in 2005. That explains those figures perfectly. How could they live without my good example for them all to take good heed and follow my learned skills?

Honestly, thinking back over the way this place has changed in the past thirty years, I'm not surprised.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Calvin27 » Fri May 25, 2018 4:33 pm

Tequestra wrote:
Calvin27 wrote:1995-2000 increasing pedestrian casualties, 2005 beyond, almost double that of he 1987-1955 era.

I understand that correlation is not necessarily causation, but it is nice to think that I lost my drivers' license for seven(7) years in 1995, and then moved overseas in 2005. That explains those figures perfectly. How could they live without my good example for them all to take good heed and follow my learned skills?

Honestly, thinking back over the way this place has changed in the past thirty years, I'm not surprised.


Of course slower speed limits are not the only cause, they are coupled with a lot of migrants who have different perceptions of pedestrian-vehicle interaction. For example the area in question (Chadstone) has a very high overseas migrant population (mostly asian). In China a 40kph car on a 3/2 2 lane road means walk out and navigate through. However the aussie driver is usually not prepared for this because most aussie pedestrians won't do this.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Tequestra » Fri May 25, 2018 5:15 pm

Calvin27 wrote:... migrants who have different perceptions of pedestrian-vehicle interaction.


Thanks Calvin because I agree with that multicultural factor although I am not going to speculate without statistics that nobody would have the courage to determine. I had a really memorable GOOD example of multicultural driver awareness yesterday, just pulling off the highway into a 'modified' side-street in the Big Truck.

There is a badly designed T-intersection been added in recent years since CAD became popular down at the main roads, and the radius of the corner is too tight for my Big Truck. It is as big as a Cadillac in length and breadth, so I need to either run the LHR wheel over the kerb turning left or else steer the front out wide across the centreline of the side-street to corner gracefully.

Yesterday afternoon there was a small white car just coming onto the 'extra' road designed with CAD sans actually driving it to find out, right as I turned into the corner, and I saw it, and I could have swung tight and hopped my back wheel up on the grass, but the little white car stopped for me!

He let do my turn without needing to jump up on the kerb with the LHR wheel, which was such a generous, courteous and unexpected gesture! I had to give him a sign, but I couldn't work out whether thumbsup or OK was appropriate so I just did both to indicate, "Thanks, mate!"

As I went past, I saw the driver and I could tell by his face that he was probably taught to drive somewhere in North-Eastern Africa. This was an example of multicultural courtesy, and I will remember his courtesy. I only hope that such an aware gentleman would do the same for a cyclist riding around the corner if they needed some extra room.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby trailgumby » Fri May 25, 2018 8:16 pm

queequeg wrote:I am currently reading Mikael Colville-Andersen's new book, "Copenhagenize - The definitive guide to global bicycle urbanism", and while it obviously focuses on Bicycles, the book is actually about building livable cities and returning space to people, not cars.

I am only up to the Chapter 4, and already I am hooked. ...

This book is a must read for everyone in government.

You're right. It is an outstanding piece of work. I've bought copies for BNSW, and my local Council's Road Safety officer and Active Transport officer. Ray Rice has his. The other two will get theirs this week.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby TheWall » Fri May 25, 2018 8:40 pm

A significant factor here, I believe, is that modern cars have massive A pillars designed to help the occupants survive an accident through a safety cell structure. Compare cars made in the time periods of the accident data and it is quite pronounced. Blind spots, when turning, are the issue here.

The 2nd part is the rise of the SUV which disconnects people from their environment even further than lower set cars making people behave differently.

The 3rd part is phones (in the car and pedestrian)...don't get me started!

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Thoglette » Sat May 26, 2018 9:13 pm

[quote="TheWall"Blind spots, when turning, are the issue here.[/quote]

They certainly contribute, along with wing mirrors. Add in a bit of non level ground and you can hide a whole SUV in that blind spot. Ask me how! :oops:
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby TheWall » Sat May 26, 2018 9:49 pm

Sounds like some personal experience there Thoglette! :?: :P

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Trevtassie » Sat May 26, 2018 11:24 pm

There's also the problem that 80% of drivers have no begukken idea they are even supposed to give way to pedestrians when turning left or right at intersections without pedestrian lights. They aren't even looking for pedestrians because they aren't supposed to be there.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Tequestra » Sun May 27, 2018 8:18 am

Trevtassie wrote:There's also the problem that 80% of drivers have no begukken idea they are even supposed to give way to pedestrians when turning left or right at intersections without pedestrian lights.


Guilty as charged. In Western Australia it seems to me the expectation is that traffic has the right of way to turn a corner and pedestrians at the corner need to look four ways before crossing the intersection. Of course, it is expected that drivers keep an eye out for anyone walking towards the corner and be ready to stop if some idiot steps out on the road. We like to give the impression that we give a damn about human life for some antiquated religious reason, but it is not obligatory, as far as I was once taught and have since observed,

This is why we have left-turn arrows at lights, so that when the circle-light turns green, traffic can head straight ahead, but left turners get the red arrow so that pedestrians have time to cross the side road. If pedestrians already had the right of way, then why waste all that money on a left turn arrow?

If I remember Adelaide in the last century, things worked much the same as in Perth. Other states' policies may differ.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby human909 » Sun May 27, 2018 8:37 am

Tequestra wrote:
Trevtassie wrote:There's also the problem that 80% of drivers have no begukken idea they are even supposed to give way to pedestrians when turning left or right at intersections without pedestrian lights.


Guilty as charged.

:shock: Ok..
1. Continue to feel guilty for a bit, this is basic road rules.
2. Then let go of the guilt and bone up on your road rules.
3. Redeem yourself and let those around you know.

Tequestra wrote:In Western Australia it seems to me the expectation is that traffic has the right of way to turn a corner and pedestrians at the corner need to look four ways before crossing the intersection.

Except it isn't like that. And I'm pretty sure plenty of polite and law abiding western Australians know and act on this.

Tequestra wrote:but it is not obligatory, as far as I was once taught and have since observed

Check out your road rules and do the test and the bottom of the page. (hint test 6)
https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensi ... t-quiz.asp

Tequestra wrote:This is why we have left-turn arrows at lights, so that when the circle-light turns green, traffic can head straight ahead, but left turners get the red arrow so that pedestrians have time to cross the side road. If pedestrians already had the right of way, then why waste all that money on a left turn arrow?

Multiple light sequencing related reasons and maybe even some for people who don't know the road rules. Turning motorist must give way regardless. Even if the pedestrians have a red man and the motorist has a green light.

Tequestra wrote:If I remember Adelaide in the last century, things worked much the same as in Perth.

I'm pretty sure there are law abiding and polite motorist in Adelaide too.

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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Tequestra » Sun May 27, 2018 9:13 am

human909 wrote:Check out your road rules and do the test and the bottom of the page. (hint test 6)
https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensi ... t-quiz.asp

Thanks mate. It was Q.7 on test 6, yes? I answered but I guess the machine expected me to answer all of the questions before telling me if I was wrong.

I take it that in WA left turning vehicles must give way to pedestrians, and that makes some sense to me, but I do wonder if it is a recent regulation change because it is not the way I would act if I was a pedestrian about to cross at the lights. I'd give way to left-turning cars approaching from behind, and if I was in the car I'd generally expect pedestrians to wait until I'd turned before crossing the road. It just seems the status quo here.

Luckily I tend to keep my eyes open for such things as humans on the road, and haven't run anyone over in quite a while now, but I did indeed believe that a car turning left at a green light has right of way. One reason is so that the car turning left can do it as quickly as possible so that traffic behind can keep moving through the lights.

After breakfast I might have a good read over those tests and renew my understanding of Western Australian road rules in the 21st century. Thanks for the hint.
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