Clear rules on right of way on roads needed

Rule 22 of the Highway Code requires pedestrians to monitor traffic in multiple directions, but does not specify the distance to check ("Pedestrians with right of way 'must still share responsibility'"; March 19).

If a crossing takes 30 seconds, the safe distance to check for a vehicle travelling at 60kmh is 500m.

Errant motorists, however, obey no speed limit and have been known to run the red light at 178kmh. At that speed, pedestrians would have to check for vehicles up to a staggering 1.5km.

The rule fails to consider the fact that pedestrians who wait until traffic has come to a standstill may be unable to cross, even after multiple signal cycles.

There is also the possibility of crowd build-up, which is particularly hazardous on a traffic island, as well as a reduction of available crossing time, which will affect seniors who are movement impaired.

At perpendicular crossings, drivers currently give way if they see people crossing. If pedestrians wait and do not cross, drivers have to second-guess whether they should move forward.

Pedestrian crossings cannot be safe only for those who can judge speed and distance well, for the keen sighted, the young and nimble, or on roads with good visibility ("Protect those who abide by traffic rules" by Mr Perinpanayagam James; March 24).

They must also be safe for the visually impaired, mobility impaired and the elderly, despite visibility limitations such as road curvatures, vegetation, and haze, rain or night conditions.

Having clear and simple rules on right of way, and stiff punishment for errant drivers, is the only way.

The current penalties and assignment of culpability to pedestrians send a very wrong message to errant drivers.

Tey Chee Meng (Dr)