What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

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

Postby mikesbytes » Sun May 27, 2018 9:47 am

The focus of the pedestrian safety campaign in NSW is to get the pedestrians to take better care. I haven't seen anything asking motorists to be more vigilant. There's 'at fault' and 'cause of injury/death'
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby human909 » Sun May 27, 2018 10:03 am

Tequestra wrote: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.

:D And a small apology for my blunt language.

I have little reason to doubt you are a good and careful driver, but I think it needs to be pretty blunt when people believe basic falsities when it comes to the road rules. Particularly when they don't seem to readily change their view when the facts are presented.

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human909 wrote: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.

Not a recent change, possibly even been in their since they were first written...

human909 wrote: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.

Try not to contribute to the status quo when it is a dangerous status quo contrary to law. It becomes status quo because of the might is right mentality. It is one of the big issues on our roads and why vulnerable road users get killed on our roads.


But like Trevtassie said. You aren't alone in your misunderstanding. I had to explain this all to a friend of mine who was otherwise a cautious and careful driver.

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

Postby Trevtassie » Sun May 27, 2018 10:37 am

Tequestra wrote:
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.

Incidentally, pedestrians have right of way isn't something new, it's been around pretty well since somebody in authority decided those new fangled killing machines needed some kind of regulation.
I think the status quo is a result of pretty well everybody in the legal system in Australia having no idea that this is the law and the bias towards motor vehicles, SMIDSY is a defence here. The difference is stark compared to Japan, where even when we are illegally riding down the footpath we noticed turning cars stopping on the main road (and stopping a whole line of cars) to allow us to cross the junction, because they know SMIDSY isn't a defence, and actually implies they aren't competent to be driving.

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

Postby Tequestra » Sun May 27, 2018 10:44 am

human909 wrote:Not a recent change, possibly even been in their since they were first written...

No worries, Mr Human. I am glad of this now as I have just become an old man this year, so I no longer have that 'Time is money' mentality of working-class youth.

I will try to remember in future, and probably will considering the significant changes that this forum has had on my mentality both on my bike and in the big truck I just bought. The advice on this forum is now always on my mind whenever I leave the house. You fellows have greatly increased my levels of courtesy, so thanks.

It is something I have some doubts about on whether this was law in 1985, because it was not the way I was taught by my Dad, nor my driving instructor back then. In the past I vaguely remember some story in some news somewhere or other about some national road standards campaign, and WA being less overpopulated than other states, would likely conform with what the eastern states thinks best.

One thing I feel strongly about, as you do with the turning at intersections, is cars turning off roads into driveways, because I know that rule very well. Pedestrians have right of way on a footpath, which makes obvious sense. Here's another multicultural conflict because I remember winter 2007 riding my bike back from the shops early one morning, (pre-8am = working-class peak-hour), along the wide footpath by the highway, past a Shell garage, when I was blasted and insulted by some arrogant Scotsman for riding along the footpath across the garage driveway when he was coming up behind me and planning to turn into that Shell garage.

I can understand the stress he felt slowing down to turn off the highway and slowing down the traffic behind him, because I know what that pressure feels like myself, but stress or not, he was wrong and I was right. Cars do not cross footpaths unless they are clear of footpath users. Now I am wrong and you are right.

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

Postby AdelaidePeter » Sun May 27, 2018 9:37 pm

Here is the data for every year since 1989, taken from the BITRE database at https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/ ... abase.aspx (counting the fatalities per year marked as "Pedestrian")

1989 505
1990 422
1991 343
1992 350
1993 331
1994 372
1995 399
1996 353
1997 331
1998 320
1999 300
2000 287
2001 290
2002 250
2003 233
2004 220
2005 228
2006 230
2007 204
2008 189
2009 196
2010 171
2011 186
2012 171
2013 158
2014 154
2015 162
2016 169
2017 162
2018 54

The 2018 data is only to the end of April, so is 1/3 of a year. 3 times 54 = 162. So it's on track to be exactly the same as 2017.

So I don't see any spike in pedestrian deaths. But of course, it cannot be bad to have a conversation about making roads safer for pedestrians (and everyone else).

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

Postby Calvin27 » Mon May 28, 2018 8:45 am

mikesbytes wrote:The focus of the pedestrian safety campaign in NSW is to get the pedestrians to take better care. I haven't seen anything asking motorists to be more vigilant. There's 'at fault' and 'cause of injury/death'


That's because we have a hangover of more than two decades of 'speed kills'. Apparently if you have your eyes glued to the speedo, it's all kosher.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby find_bruce » Mon May 28, 2018 9:14 am

AdelaidePeter wrote:Here is the data for every year since 1989, taken from the BITRE database at https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/ ... abase.aspx (counting the fatalities per year marked as "Pedestrian")

...

The 2018 data is only to the end of April, so is 1/3 of a year. 3 times 54 = 162. So it's on track to be exactly the same as 2017.

So I don't see any spike in pedestrian deaths. But of course, it cannot be bad to have a conversation about making roads safer for pedestrians (and everyone else).

There are some serious discrepancies between the data the ABC used and that you linked to

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

Postby human909 » Mon May 28, 2018 9:17 am

Calvin27 wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:The focus of the pedestrian safety campaign in NSW is to get the pedestrians to take better care. I haven't seen anything asking motorists to be more vigilant. There's 'at fault' and 'cause of injury/death'


That's because we have a hangover of more than two decades of 'speed kills'. Apparently if you have your eyes glued to the speedo, it's all kosher.


Absolutely. While there is no doubt that excessive speed and drunk driving are serious risks on the road. The focus has been too strong on those risks that we have long lost sight of the basics of good driving.

I spent 6months driving through the US and it certainly opened my eyes to a more polite and considerate driving culture. It also opened my eyes to the advantages of have fuzzy speed limits. Set a limit and it is human nature to drive at that limit and expect others to drive at that limit. In Australia if you are 5kph below the limit people behind you start seeing red. In contrast if the limit is fuzzy then people drive at various speeds and learn to accept and deal with the fact that other might be driving (cycling) at various speeds too.

In the US I encountered much more considerate drivers both when I was driving and riding.


On Saturday my partner got abused by a guy in a blue Falcadore because she wasn't going 80kph on her bicycle. A considerate motorist waited and a line of about 5 cars built up. Time delayed maybe 10seconds.

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

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon May 28, 2018 9:53 am

find_bruce wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:Here is the data for every year since 1989, taken from the BITRE database at https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/ ... abase.aspx (counting the fatalities per year marked as "Pedestrian")

...

The 2018 data is only to the end of April, so is 1/3 of a year. 3 times 54 = 162. So it's on track to be exactly the same as 2017.

So I don't see any spike in pedestrian deaths. But of course, it cannot be bad to have a conversation about making roads safer for pedestrians (and everyone else).

There are some serious discrepancies between the data the ABC used and that you linked to


I think the ABC data is accurate, but cherry-picked. If you reduce it to pedestrian deaths the first 4 months only (that's as far as I can go because the BITRE data is only updated monthly), you get for the last few years:

2009 65
2010 53
2011 57
2012 61
2013 43
2014 51
2015 56
2016 49
2017 38
2018 54

So it is the worst first 4 months since 2015, and a lot worse than 2017, but that looks like a random variation, mainly due to the fact that the first 4 months of 2017 were particularly low.

On a broader note, it's been pointed out a few times that the total road toll was gradually falling for years, but has levelled out since about 2013, despite cars continuing to get new safety features. I attribute this to the rise of drivers using phones.

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

Postby Calvin27 » Mon May 28, 2018 10:15 am

AdelaidePeter wrote:On a broader note, it's been pointed out a few times that the total road toll was gradually falling for years, but has levelled out since about 2013, despite cars continuing to get new safety features. I attribute this to the rise of drivers using phones.


Also pedestrians on phones. I used to live in a 15 minute walk to Melbourne CBD and every now an then tere would be a j walking blitz. I actually had a chat to an officer about it, mostly because I was against j walking fines, but he said that they usually happened when there was a pedestrian incident and that phones were a huge cause of pedestrians getting hit. I thought it was rubbish at first but take a look around at how many people cross with their heads buried in their phones and it does't seem so stupid. A classic one is when at an intersection they start walking out because they hear the traffic signal change but its for the other direction - seen that one a few times.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon May 28, 2018 10:34 am

Calvin27 wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:On a broader note, it's been pointed out a few times that the total road toll was gradually falling for years, but has levelled out since about 2013, despite cars continuing to get new safety features. I attribute this to the rise of drivers using phones.


Also pedestrians on phones. I used to live in a 15 minute walk to Melbourne CBD and every now an then tere would be a j walking blitz. I actually had a chat to an officer about it, mostly because I was against j walking fines, but he said that they usually happened when there was a pedestrian incident and that phones were a huge cause of pedestrians getting hit. I thought it was rubbish at first but take a look around at how many people cross with their heads buried in their phones and it does't seem so stupid. A classic one is when at an intersection they start walking out because they hear the traffic signal change but its for the other direction - seen that one a few times.


Perhaps, but I don't think it's a major factor, because I can't see a significant change in the proportion of pedestrian deaths. All deaths are following a similar trend. The common factor is the motor vehicle.

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

Postby Jmuzz » Mon May 28, 2018 11:06 am

AdelaidePeter wrote:2009 65
2010 53
2011 57
2012 61
2013 43
2014 51
2015 56
2016 49
2017 38
2018 54

So it is the worst first 4 months since 2015, and a lot worse than 2017, but that looks like a random variation, mainly due to the fact that the first 4 months of 2017 were particularly low.


All I see there is that the start of 2017 was particularly low. Otherwise it is flat with normal looking random noise.

The interesting thing to identify is whether something caused the start of 2017 to be low or was it just luck?
When you have a good year like that try and reproduce it.

Was there some particularly effective safety campaign running? Did some new law change make people more aware which has since worn off? Did something like reduced speed limits cause a temporary drop but then resulted in people becoming even more complacent?

Deaths can be a flawed measurement, could it even be related to better success in hospital? Were infection rates down? Was there a new procedure or scan or drugs which has been shutdown for budget reasons? Was there a change in life support policy?

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

Postby Calvin27 » Mon May 28, 2018 11:58 am

AdelaidePeter wrote:Perhaps, but I don't think it's a major factor, because I can't see a significant change in the proportion of pedestrian deaths. All deaths are following a similar trend. The common factor is the motor vehicle.


I would expect motor vehicle stats to have motor vehicles as the common factor... :?:
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby twowheels » Mon May 28, 2018 12:46 pm

queequeg wrote: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.

This book is a must read for everyone in government.

Did you see my prior recommendation? In any case, pleased you're enjoying it. I discussed the book with my local state MLA, he photographed the cover as reminder.
Good read for anyone. It lead me to "Bike Nation" by Peter Walker (no kidding!), another good read.

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

Postby queequeg » Mon May 28, 2018 4:55 pm

twowheels wrote:
queequeg wrote: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.

This book is a must read for everyone in government.

Did you see my prior recommendation? In any case, pleased you're enjoying it. I discussed the book with my local state MLA, he photographed the cover as reminder.
Good read for anyone. It lead me to "Bike Nation" by Peter Walker (no kidding!), another good read.


Possibly. I also follow Mikael Colville-Andersen online, and I had seen him mention his book.

He has done a number of TED talks that resonate with me, particularly the ridiculousness of MHL and the Culture of Fear (the first video below)





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

Postby antigee » Tue May 29, 2018 1:03 pm

TheWall wrote: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!


...yep our medium to large SUV has A pillars with airbags in them - you need to move your head to check for peds and cyclists at intersections and at crossings - my older teen is near to getting P's and I was surprised to find in my daughter's Vicroads "Road to Solo Driving" handbook that A pillar blindspots don't get much of a mention:

ImageVicroads learntodrive blindspots



I walk a lot and drivers routinely ignore the road rule on turning into sidestreets (worst still at takeaway drive ins and fuel stations)... example yesterday - driving, slow moving line of traffic, indicating to turn right but older schoolchild walking along and less than 1m from crossing side road - so rather than turn across the ped' I wait - vehicle behind "overtakes" and turns directly across just as youth steps off pavement :cry:

As to "spike" - never seen a journalist put understanding statistics in the way of a story - can't see anything other than possible seasonal variation? - schoolgirl hit and run near Heathcote station (Melbourne) earlier in month would have been in the dark - last year a jogger was killed near us running in the dark - car turning into side road - not charged as far as I know

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

Postby Jmuzz » Tue May 29, 2018 2:59 pm

Old 1970's car diagram.
Such lazy government departments such a waste of our tax.

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

Postby Audioio » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:50 pm

TheWall wrote: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.

I remember some years ago a paper by the Productivity Commission comparing Suburban assaUlt Vehicles to normal cars... energy and materials in manufacture, fuel consumption, propensity to roll, and even driver behaviour. The conclusion was that SUVs are so very costly in so many deleterious ways. Bear in mind that the Productivity Commission is not an organisation given to left-wing or environmentally sensitive pronouncements about, well, anything really!

The stat that really stood out was collisions between SUVs and normal cars. Your injuries will be 2% less severe in an SUV than in a normal car. My injuries will be 25% more severe than if you were driving a normal car. Hate to think what it would be with a cyclist.

Unless you hadn't got a clue from what I call them, you won't be surprised to learn that I want them banned. Happy to accept a different view if you can tell me why it is--whether I'm walking, on my bike, or in my car--that every freaking day someone throws one at me.

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

Postby redsonic » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:58 pm

Jmuzz wrote:Old 1970's car diagram.
Such lazy government departments such a waste of our tax.

Or maybe their productivity benchmarks are so demanding that changing a minor detail on a diagram was considered a waste of taxpayer money....

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

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:20 pm

Sorry about my flippancy on a serious subject but it occurred to me that, consistent with the thinking on another subject, it must be that they are not registered.

Pay rego and they will all be safer. :roll:

Seriously though, the point about the time it takes to cross a road strikes a chord. More so as I age. My wife certainly would not get across almost any controlle dintersection in the time allowed by a green ped light. Fortunately it seems that drivers these days do seem to be more patient thatn I experienced in the past before turning right where peds are concerned, at least in Perth. Which sorta goes against the linked article.
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby zebee » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:36 am

I think it very much depends on the ped and the time and location.

THe other day on a busyish road in Burwood (Sydney Burwood) which has a lot of ped traffic and congestion a very old man was crossing the road. He took pretty much an entire cycle to do it, and cars waited patiently, not even trying to edge past where there was room. At another time I've seen young peds crossing late get almost brushed by cars turning into them.

Same same footpaths: when I go out with my elderly mother people are mostly very understanding about her mobility and give us room. Now and them someone will be impatient. (Oddly it is almost always a young white person!) BUt on the whole if you are visibly old or otherwise of limited mobility then on road or footpath or supermarket aisle even the busy and impatient will overwhelmingly wait. But if you look mobile then you are expected to be mobile and get out of the way.

If you are where you are expected to be.... It is a different story in places peds are not usually seen. THe old "see what you expect to see" problem. If they aren't expecting peds they don't act in the same way when they see one. IF Mum and I are anywhere where peds are few I really notice the difference in car behaviour.

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

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:23 pm

Audioio wrote:The stat that really stood out was collisions between SUVs and normal cars. Your injuries will be 2% less severe in an SUV than in a normal car. My injuries will be 25% more severe than if you were driving a normal car. Hate to think what it would be with a cyclist

It depends on where the head strike is, if the head hits the bonnet it generally gets gets a softer blow due to the angle of deflection and possibly more importantly a bit of give in the bonnet, than if it hits the windscreen, which has a higher angle of deflection and is basically transparent rock. There's also whether you are thrown forward onto the ground rather than being deflected, a more complex situation to understand the mechanics. There's a current vehicle (I forget which) that has a special sprung bonnet to improve pedestrian safety in the case of a collision, I would like to see these safety initiatives built into Australian Design Rules.

Bull bars add another level of complexity to the safety rating and most will increase the risk of injury or death but there are a select few that will actually improve pedestrian safety. Also some will reduce occupant safety by interfering with crumple zones. I believe that a vehicle should only be permitted to fit a bull bar that retains or enhances the safety rating of the vehicle, both for occupants and those outside of the vehicle
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Re: What's behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

Postby Thoglette » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:27 pm

zebee wrote:I think it very much depends on the ped and the time and location.

Just watched a driver head off the road, across the verge and onto the footpath to <insert stupid idea here> a pedestrian who was just walking along.

No prizes for guessing that the pedestrian's family have been here for more than a few hundred years and the driver was a johnny come lately.
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