Pedestrians must look out for their own safety

When it comes to accidents involving pedestrians, the driver is often deemed to be at fault because pedestrians are considered vulnerable.

This could be a reason why pedestrians tend to take their safety for granted on public roads and assume that vehicles will surely give way to them (Rise in jaywalking accidents, with 30% involving the elderly; Oct 12).

This perception has to change. While drivers may be responsible, pedestrians are equally responsible.

Jaywalking is clearly an offence.

When pedestrians are caught infringing the traffic rules, they should be penalised.

Many times, pedestrians ignore the drivers' right of way.

They stand very close to the kerb, or spill over onto the road instead of staying on the pavement.

They cross at road bends, behind a reversing vehicle and even when they know a vehicle is turning towards them. Many also do not hold the children's hands when taking them across the road.

Another common trend, especially among young people, is putting on earphones and listening to loud music. This decreases their ability to hear the horn of oncoming vehicles.

Pedestrian are responsible for their own safety and must obey all traffic laws.

They must cross the road only at the proper crossings, and when the traffic light is in their favour.

Pedestrians must never assume that drivers will surely give way to them.

They must not underestimate the danger, especially as they will clearly be the losers in a clash of flesh versus metal.

Donny Ho Boon Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'Pedestrians must look out for their own safety'. Print Edition | Subscribe