Police ensures safety of pedestrian crossings

13.4.2021 10.02
News item

The Police continues its work to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users and will have an intensified control focus day on 14 April 2021 at pedestrian crossings, looking at how the relevant traffic rules are followed.

The control is mainly targeted at drivers of vehicles and their traffic behaviour near pedestrian crossings. During the special control day, the Police collaborates with the municipal parking control authorities and will also intervene with stopping and parking that causes inconvenience and danger to the movement of vulnerable road users. 

-  The objective is to improve the overall safety at crossing, Chief Superintendent Heikki Kallio of the National Police Board explains. 

Drivers of vehicles must provide clear and unhindered passage to pedestrians on crossings

According to Chief Superintendent Kallio, the control will focus mainly on cases where the driver of the vehicle fails to provide free passage to a pedestrian already crossing the road or preparing to step to the crossing. 

- We will also pay attention to cases where a vehicle or a tram standing before a crossing is passed without stopping. Moreover, the controls will focus on other situations where the visibility to a crossing is otherwise limited but the vehicle does not slow down or stop before the crossing, if necessary.

Chief Superintendent Heikki Kallio reminds that the pedestrian crossing is marked with the appropriate road sign, or it is an element of the road, cycle path or tram tracks, intended for crossing and shown with road markings. 

Based on the new Road Traffic Act which entered into force in 2020, vehicles such as the bicycle, can also cross the road along the crossing but without causing danger or inconvenience to pedestrians.  

Pedestrians account for a significant number of deaths in road traffic

Based on the statistics published by Liikenneturva (Finnish Road Safety Council), as many as one in ten of those who died and seven percent of those injured in traffic were pedestrians. During the past three years, the number of pedestrian dying in traffic was 21 on average (22 persons died in 2020) while the number of injured pedestrians has been 360 on average. According to the 2019 statistics, those with serious injuries were 37. 

One in five of the victims died on a pedestrian crossing which was the venue of 60 percent of pedestrian injuries. 

- Two age groups are highlighted in accident statistics: the young and the aged.  Among the pedestrians who died on a crossing, four of five were 65 or older, while their share was one in three of those injured. Over one fourth of the pedestrians injured in road traffic were under 25. In fact, the drivers of vehicles must be particularly alert when they approach crossings and see children, young and aged persons, Chief Superintendent Kallio points out. 

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