Police to ensure safety of vulnerable road users

7.4.2021 10.33
News item

The Police will have an intensified traffic control operation on 8 April 2021 to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users. The controls are targeted at the traffic behaviour of motor-driven vehicle drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of light electric vehicles.

During the special control day, the Police will also intervene with stopping and parking that causes inconvenience and danger to the movement of vulnerable road users. The controls will focus on the respect of traffic lights, sidewalk use of cyclists and light-weight electric vehicle drivers as well as on the obligation of all road user groups to comply with the duty to give way on pedestrian crossings and crossroads. 

The control of give way rules in crossroads areas focuses mainly on motorised vehicles.

- The objective is to improve traffic safety, mainly on pedestrian and bicycle crossings. During the special control day, the Police will therefore also intervene with stopping and parking that causes inconvenience and danger to the movement of vulnerable road users, Chief Superintendent Heikki Kallio of the National Police Board explains. 

According to Chief Superintendent Kallio, the controls will principally focus on cases where the vehicle is illegally stopped or parked on the pavement, crossing, bicycle lane, bicycle crossing or at five meters’ distance preceding the crossing for pedestrians or bicycles or a bicycle crossing. Parking control takes place in collaboration with the municipal parking control authority.

Vulnerable road users’ share of traffic deaths is significant

In 2017, the vulnerable road users (pedestrians and drivers of two-wheelers) accounted for 47 percent of all traffic deaths in the European Union (34 percent in Finland in 2020). 

- For this reason, the safety of these road user groups must constantly be in the centre of traffic safety work. In fact, the specific objective of the Police controls day is accident prevention, Chief Superintendent Kallio adds.

According to the Statistics Finland data of accidents reported to the Police, last year about 560 cyclists and about 300 pedestrians and moped drivers were injured in road traffic. 

- However, it is worth noticing that not all cyclist accidents, especially those with only the individual cyclist and no others involved, are reported to the Police and thus not included in the official statistics. In other words, the number of the injured is larger than the so-called official statistics, Chief Superintendent Kallio points out.

The Police will continue the campaign to promote the traffic safety of vulnerable road users by organising a crossing rule control day on Wednesday 14 April 2021.

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