Watch it, drivers! Police continues to ensure safety of pedestrian crossings

Publication date 19.8.2022 11.28
News item

The Police continues its work to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users and will have intensified controls from 22 August to 4 September 2022 at pedestrian crossings, looking at how the relevant traffic rules will be followed.

The main focus on controlled pedestrian crossings is on the operation of drivers of motorised vehicles and trams when they are approaching and at the crossings. Attention will also be paid on cyclists and other non-motorised vehicle drivers.

Negligence may lead to fines

According to Chief Superintendent Heikki Kallio of the National Police Board, the Police will interfere, for example, in situations where the pedestrian cannot step on the pedestrian crossing due to an approaching vehicle. 

- The premise is that the pedestrians must have a safe passage on the crossing. We will monitor whether the drivers factually ensure pedestrians free passage to the crossing and whether the drivers pass another vehicle or tram standing before the pedestrian crossing without themselves stopping.

In case of drivers of motorised vehicles, the violations mostly constitute endangering of traffic and result in fines. This is because ignoring the pedestrian crossing rules can typically lead to accidents. 

As concerns the drivers of non-motorised vehicles, the breaches of rules are mostly sanctioned by a petty administrative fines for traffic violation. These violations cannot always be classified as causing danger to another person’s safety, due to the lighter vehicles’ smaller mass and lower speed.

Pedestrian crossing accidents are not uncommon

Pedestrians account for 10% of deaths in road traffic while their share is 7% of injuries.  
According to the Finnish Road Safety Council (Liikenneturva) statistics, the average number of pedestrian fatalities has been 20 annual deaths over the past three years. One in five of them died at a pedestrian crossing. Sixty percent of injuries to pedestrians took place on pedestrian crossings.

– The purpose of the controls is to remind the vehicle drivers of their obligations at pedestrian crossings, with the obvious objective of improving pedestrian safety in traffic, Chief Superintendent Kallio adds. 

During the corresponding controls last spring, 379 sanctions were imposed on motorised vehicle drivers for various degrees of failures to abide by the pedestrian crossing rules.