Walkers warned to pay attention

Pedestrians urged to look up from phones when crossing road as fatalities increase in winter

21 October 2015

PEDESTRIANS are being urged to look up from their phones and pay better attention to their surroundings as the nights get longer.

With the clocks set to go back on Sunday, the government is reminding people that the winter see an increase in fatal accidents between pedestrians and vehicles.

The problem has been accentuated in recent years by the smartphone.

“More and more people no longer walk looking straight in front of them, but looking at their phone. That puts them at the mercy of cars.

“The problem is worse at night and as there are more hours of darkness, the problem is bad,” said government road safety representative Emmanuel Barbe on TF1.

Last November 62 pedestrians were killed, 46 of them at night. By comparison 23 people were killed crossing the road in May, 10 of them at night, according to figures from the Observatoire national interministériel de la sécurité routière.

Some government tips for staying safe:

Cyclists should always wear reflective clothing, avoid riding on pavements and make sure their lights work.

Pedestrians should only cross at official crossings and check both ways repeatedly before crossing the road. And get off their phones.

Drivers, where possible, should try to stay at least one metre from the pavements and should keep lights on in the day as well as the night.

Photo: Flickr / Jake Stimpson

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