Police ensures safety of pedestrian crossings

23.8.2021 13.27
News item

The Police continues its work to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users and has an intensified control focus day on 24 August 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. 

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. The operation 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 situations where the visibility to a crossing is otherwise limited but the vehicle does not slow down or stop before the crossing, if necessary.

The corresponding control campaign day implemented last spring resulted in the following sanctions issued to violators of rules:

Most sanctions were issued to drivers of motorised vehicles for failing to give unhindered passage to pedestrians. The number was 85. In addition, car drivers got 44 traffic penalty fees and fines for other violations of the pedestrian crossing rules. 

Cyclists and drivers of light electric vehicles got 57 cautions and six traffic penalty fees for failures to observe the pedestrian crossing rules. Seven pedestrians failing to respect the red light were imposed the traffic penalty fee while 16 pedestrians got a caution.

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 and is allowed to cross the road along the crossing but without causing danger or inconvenience to pedestrians. Drivers of vehicles must remember that they must always give way to other road users when entering the carriageway after the crossing of a pavement or cycle path.

Pedestrians account for a considerable 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 average number of annual traffic deaths was 21 (11 in January-June this year) while the number of injured pedestrians was 360 (100 in January-June this year).

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 almost 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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