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Old 03.06.2009, 17:55
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Pedestrian Crossings

One of my bugbears is the poor observance by motorists here of pedestrian crossings. Yesterday I was taking my little boy in his pram to the creche and crossing a zebra crossing on Riehenring near the Messe was like taking the walk of death.

The Swiss Highway code states that cars should stop when a pedestrian shows a clear intention to cross - however standing with one foot on the crossing appears to be a signal to accelerate to some people.

Then there are the drivers who drive up to a crossing at top speed, then slam on the anchors and give you a dirty look because you didn't dare to step out until they had actually stopped.

According to a study of 16 European countries carried out by the Touring Club of Switzerland (TCS) Switzerland has one of the worst records when it comes to fatalities at zebra crossings. This comes as no surprise.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 03.06.2009, 18:12
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

That's shocking, the statistics on fatalities, given the quality of roads/vehicles and visibility here.

My speculation is that many of these accidents would have occurred when the pedestrian dithered, leading to confusing signal to the driver. I simply can't imagine drivers not braking when they spot someone crossing the road.

That said, I have noticed the motorist's behavior is vastly more rash near Seebach than it is in the central Zurich...so perhaps each region has a different set of codes/standards
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Old 03.06.2009, 18:32
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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One of my bugbears is the poor observance by motorists here of pedestrian crossings.
..
According to a study of 16 European countries carried out by the Touring Club of Switzerland (TCS) Switzerland has one of the worst records when it comes to fatalities at zebra crossings. This comes as no surprise.
...
Sorry, but the report doesn't say that at all - what is actually says is...

"On a per capita basis, Switzerland falls in line with the European average, with 2.7 pedestrians killed per million people,
compared to worst ranked Luxembourg (4.1), and at the other extreme the Netherlands (one).
The Swiss figures are a slight improvement over 2005, when the number of pedestrians killed per million hit 3.0. "

Or alternatively stated:
"Switzerland is significantly safer for pedestrians than Luxembourg, whether using a pedestrian crossing or not.
If you're unfortunate enough to become a pedestrian traffic fatality in Switzerland, there's was a slightly higher
probability that you took the hit on a pedestrian crossing."

Be careful here; be even more careful in Luxembourg!
.
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Old 03.06.2009, 19:24
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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Sorry, but the report doesn't say that at all - what is actually says is...
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You are Ben Goldacre and I claim my five pounds!

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 03.06.2009, 19:24
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

I think the law here is the problem, it give the right to pedestrians, who are the most vulnerable, and the Swiss do love to be in the right. So they do regularily step off without even looking (cue MP3 player), get hit (as reported) and then say I had right of way.... probably very satisfying in casualty or etched on their tombstone.

That said I've also witnessed and driven behind the 4rseholes who show no effort to break when someone is clearly waiting to cross, which is just ignorant and dangerous. So I think rather than relying on a law that is pretty unmanagable, maybe better awareness and common sense from both sides would make things a little safer.
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Old 03.06.2009, 20:46
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

Totally agree with PapaGoose there. Having a law doesn't mean drivers will stop. It's best not to take it for granted else I can imagine some drivers wishing that one day pedestrians will be "knocked" into their senses and not be so high and mighty when approaching a zebra crossing.
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Old 03.06.2009, 20:47
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

The majority of car drivers do stop. The vast majority of cyclists don't. I've had a few near misses with both categories. And I don't dither. I keep thinking I should carry a few marbles or ball-bearings in my pocket to throw at cars that don't stop. ( Not at cyclists, I don't want to injure them ). In the UK, occasionally there are idiots who don't stop for zebra crossings, but I've not experienced that as often as here. ( It's quite scary when a 40 tonne HGV stops so that you can cross! )

On the other side of the wheel, at night, and when it is raining especially, be careful when you cross the road as a pedestrian. It's really difficult for drivers to see you, especially if you're wearing dark clothing. It's really difficult to see there's a crossing there at all, often!
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Old 03.06.2009, 20:47
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

This one has been discussed before, IMHO part of the problem lays with the poor placing of some pedestrian crossings and the driver frustration that results. In general, I think the seperation between pedestrians and traffic is dreadful in Switzerland, especially in car parks where often there is no path or pedestrian walking zone, you're expected to mingle with the traffic.
(e.g. the Migros car park at Brunnau - this one is one of the worst I've ever seen)
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Old 03.06.2009, 20:57
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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This one has been discussed before, IMHO part of the problem lays with the poor placing of some pedestrian crossings ...
Maybe when I get citizenship, I should start an initiative to install Belisha Beacons by all non-traffic light controlled crossings.

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Old 03.06.2009, 21:35
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

I hate the way pedestrian crossings are placed so close to roundabouts that cars have to stop before they've fully exited the roundabout. it's a b*gger when you're third in line and looking to the left for cars entering the roundabout - you nip in and then everything comes to a sudden stop.
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Old 03.06.2009, 21:38
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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Maybe when I get citizenship, I should start an initiative to install Belisha Beacons by all non-traffic light controlled crossings.

Had I a vote here, I would happily support that. Maybe someone with the ability to start something off could do so...?
I also saw another accident on Sunday night in Bumpliz where a person was lying some three metres from the pedestrian crossing, with the car on the wrong side of it by that amount. No idea what happened, but the ambulance crew didn't seem to be hurrying much when they saw the patient.
This subject was discussed at break today and the locals there seemed definitely to favour 'walk and hope for the best'.
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Old 03.06.2009, 21:52
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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I simply can't imagine drivers not braking when they spot someone crossing the road.
Try standing at the side of a straight road in a suburban industrial area (no visual obstructions) with a day-glo jacketed traffic policeman and a group of young children wearing reflective strips, some of who are actually walking across the crossing at the time, while watching a driver hurtle across the other lane (about a metre away from the first child in the crocodile) at something like sixty miles an hour.

Then imagine again.

And that selfish bint wasn't the only one that day, either. It would appear that clear visibility, actually being on the crossing, and even the presence of a traffic policeman are simply not enough to signal 'intent to cross' to some impatient drivers.

What hope, then, for the elderly, the infirm and the cautious?
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Old 03.06.2009, 21:54
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

...and don't get me started on cyclists!

At least drivers stay off the pavement most of the time...
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Old 03.06.2009, 22:03
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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...and don't get me started on cyclists!

At least drivers stay off the pavement most of the time...
Someone told me that cyclists are actually allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Anyone know if this is true?
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Old 03.06.2009, 22:05
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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Someone told me that cyclists are actually allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Anyone know if this is true?
It would appear to be true in Canton Congo, where I was forced onto a main road by a cyclist who preferred to puff her way up the narrow pavement than risk mixing it with the proper vehicles yesterday evening.

I might start carrying a cane...
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Old 03.06.2009, 22:06
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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Had I a vote here, I would happily support that. Maybe someone with the ability to start something off could do so...?
I also saw another accident on Sunday night in Bumpliz where a person was lying some three metres from the pedestrian crossing, with the car on the wrong side of it by that amount. No idea what happened, but the ambulance crew didn't seem to be hurrying much when they saw the patient.
This subject was discussed at break today and the locals there seemed definitely to favour 'walk and hope for the best'.
Interesting you mention Bumpliz. I work there and I have to use a crossing to get to work and it's always a bit of a lottery. On one occasion, I was waiting for the traffic to stop and a woman driver kindly did so, I started to cross, giving her a friendly "thank you" wave, only to be nearly taken out by the White Van Man OVERTAKING her at the crossing.
Unbelievable.
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Old 03.06.2009, 22:10
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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Try standing at the side of a straight road in a suburban industrial area (no visual obstructions) with a day-glo jacketed traffic policeman and a group of young children wearing reflective strips, some of who are actually walking across the crossing at the time, while watching a driver hurtle across the other lane (about a metre away from the first child in the crocodile) at something like sixty miles an hour.

Then imagine again.

And that selfish bint wasn't the only one that day, either. It would appear that clear visibility, actually being on the crossing, and even the presence of a traffic policeman are simply not enough to signal 'intent to cross' to some impatient drivers.

What hope, then, for the elderly, the infirm and the cautious?
Actually this is what bugs me: the lack of uniform standard. I find extremely courteous drivers who stop and wave their hand to encourage "you first", but as you move away from the city central, it becomes different. Suddenly I am reminded of Indian roads where the "implicit" rule is the vehicles (and the bigger the better) always have the right of way . Atleast if that rule were followed with consistency pedestrians would be more guarded, and therefore safer.
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Old 03.06.2009, 22:16
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

Somewhere I read, sorry no source to post, that the pedestrians also
have the responsibility to ensure their own safety when using the
crossings. Which means, not to walk out in the traffic without looking
and, if necessary, waiting.

The bike riders that don't know the difference between Fussganger
(Pedestrians) and bike wheels when crossing the yellow stripes... all
need to be taught a lesson. More though, the cars that stop for bike
riders that do not get off their bike when crossing.

Then, as long as I am ranting here, the kids and adults that don't care.
They just ride over the crossings, on the sidewalks and even the wrong
way in one-way traffic. Idiots.

Actually, DB, carrying cane is a good idea
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Old 03.06.2009, 22:20
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

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Someone told me that cyclists are actually allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Anyone know if this is true?
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It would appear to be true in Canton Congo, where I was forced onto a main road by a cyclist who preferred to puff her way up the narrow pavement than risk mixing it with the proper vehicles yesterday evening.

I might start carrying a cane...
That's a case in point, why would it be considered safe to ride on the pavement.... but if there's a law daft or not, someone, also daft or not, will follow it. Forget the cane and use a broadsword.... the extra length will keep you away from the mess!

Last edited by Papa Goose; 04.06.2009 at 09:50.
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Old 03.06.2009, 22:21
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Re: Pedestrian Crossings

What kills me is folks who jaywalk mere meters away from a pedestrian crossing. Near the station in Nyon there are 5 crossings within 100 meters of each other and people still slowly strut across 10 meters from the nearest one. I jaywalk but take it upon myself to get the fock out of the way if a car's coming!
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