What is a courtesy crossing?
Courtesy crossings are becoming more noticeable across the city. They often have a raised platform which is designed to slow traffic and provide obvious cues to all road users, especially pedestrians, that it's a common and safe place to cross the road.
When a driver slows and comes to a stop, allowing pedestrians to cross, positive interactions like eye contact and a friendly wave to acknowledge the courtesy is encouraged.
Why are courtesy crossings so important?
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) reviewed the causes of pedestrian injury on its roads and found that speed and pedestrians at crossing points are a lethal combination for two reasons:
- The faster a driver goes, the harder it is to avoid hitting a pedestrian in their path. An alert driver travelling at 50km/h can only just stop in time to avoid a pedestrian who steps out onto the road 45 metres away. The same driver travelling at 60km/h is less likely to stop in time and will hit the pedestrian at 44km/h.
- The faster the speed at which a pedestrian is hit, the more serious their injuries. A pedestrian hit at 30km/h has a 5% chance of dying, compared with a 40% risk of death at 50km/h. When hit at 70km/h, 96% of pedestrians will die. (Ashton, 1982).
Courtesy crossings help to make the roads safer for vulnerable users such as pedestrians.