ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The importance of being seen in traffic.

Kolderup, M

Pedestrian Safety


During the Olympic Games in Sydney last year a Nigerian athlete was killed on the road as he failed to recognize the traffic rules and regulations in a foreign country and was possibly not seen as he stepped off the pavement onto the road in the early evening darkness.

Sight is the driver?s most important sense. More than 90% of all messages to the brain are visual when driving. When a car is travelling at a speed of 80km/h, or 22 meters per second, the average reaction time is one second and the physical response takes another second. During this time the car has already traveled 44 meters. A child pedestrian is visible at 30 meters with low beam headlights (ca. 1.3 seconds reaction time at 50 mph). A child pedestrian wearing a reflector is visible at 150 meters with low beam headlights (ca. 6.5 seconds reaction time at 50 mph). Pedestrian reflectors have been used successfully in Scandinavian/Nordic countries for over 30 years. This is the time for Australia to start using this simple pedestrian tool used worldwide.

In recent years there have been many advances in the motor vehicle industry for increased safety for occupants, few of these improvements are relevant to pedestrian safety yet 1 in 5 fatalities on Australian roads is a pedestrian. Awareness is major part of reducing child accidents and by educating primary school children will show results in the statistics in secondary school age. By secondary school age stage the children will have developed a perfect knowledge of how important it is to be seen in traffic. Accident prevention is essential and Reflectors have proven their effectiveness in accident prevention for more than 30 years in many countries.