Pedestrian right-of-way violations at signalised pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh

  The review of available literature related to pedestrian accidents indicates that the
occurrence of pedestrian accidents is influenced by a diverse range of factors. However,
few empirical studies have documented the effects of distance of pedestrian accidents
from pedestrian crossing area or junction. The few studies which investigated the
impact of the distance from the crossing line on pedestrian accidents, suggest that the
longer the distance from road crossing facilities, the higher the likelihood of a
pedestrian accident. With respect to the influence of the type of pedestrian crossing on
the incidence of pedestrian accidents, a substantial body of literature has found that the
types of pedestrian crossing indeed affect the frequency of pedestrian collisions.
Additionally, all the available studies reviewed indicated the positive impact of
signalised crossings on the reduction of pedestrian collision risk.
Data from STATS19 show that pedestrian severity rates are higher over the pedestrian
crossing points or within 50 meters of pedestrian crossing facilities than those away
from it. This is contrary to the expectations that accidents should be least over these
crossing facilities. This study investigates in more detail the factors that affect accident
occurrence at signalised pedestrian junction and pelican or similar type of crossing
facilities in the Scotland area. The main objective of this current research has been to
investigate those factors most commonly associated with pedestrian injury severity at a
pedestrian crossing or within 50m of one. Accident data of 14 years (from 1993 until
2006) in selected sites show that 942 pedestrian accidents occurred on or within 50m of
a signalised pedestrian crossing area. Grid references of accident locations as well as
locations of pedestrian crossings were obtained from the STATS 19 database and the
local city council. The data was used to identify the locations of accidents relative to the
location of pedestrian crossing facilities.
In terms of severity of injuries models, results suggest that pedestrians from the older
group received more severe injuries, compared with those from younger groups. Again,
this finding underlines the importance of regulations and subsequent enforcement of
traffic laws that protect and promote the safety of older pedestrians. The models also
showed an association between the severity of injury and the type of pedestrian
crossing. Since more KSI accidents have been associated with pelican crossings, there may be a need to undertake raising awareness and education for pedestrians to improve
pedestrian safety. In terms of ROW models; it was shown that turning manoeuvres were
more likely to violate pedestrian’s ROW and result in accidents than other types of
manoeuvres. Moreover, the model showed that heavy-goods vehicles and cars are
associated with pedestrian’s ROW, as compared to other types of vehicles. The various
issues related to accidents resulting from pedestrian right-of-way can be effectively
resolved by rationalisation of pedestrian crossing types; and provision of education with
regards to the rules and responsibilities of both pedestrians and drivers at all available
The models developed to profile pedestrian accidents in Edinburgh suggest that the
highest number of pedestrian accidents occurred at pedestrian crossing lines; and that
the number of pedestrian accidents decreased when moving away from pedestrian
crossing lines or within 50 metres of pedestrian crossing lines. These have serious
implications in terms of requiring improvements to pedestrian crossing facilities that
can then ensure better pedestrian visibility and provide the public with more protection
from moving vehicles. Moreover, another implication of this finding is that more
regulatory instruments must be revalidated and further developed, since there are no
laws to prevent pedestrians from crossing the road at certain points. The only laws being
enforced in the UK are those relating to the prohibition of walking on motorways or slip
roads but not regarding loitering on pedestrian crossings. Therefore, the guidelines
specified in the Highway Code to deal with pedestrian behaviour while crossing the
road have to be revisited and further developed.
The results show that accidents rates decrease as distance increase from the pedestrian
crossing facilities. The most risky locations are those at the pedestrian crossings or
within 10 meters and the distance from 10 to 30 meters before the pedestrian crossing
facilities. Analysis of pedestrian accidents rates and severities for each of pelican and
signalised crossings were discussed. An investigation of right-of-way violations
associated with pedestrian accidents at pedestrian crossing areas or within 50 metres of
the same was carried out. Modelling accidents rates and severities at these pedestrian
crossings is also presented in this thesis. Multinomial logit, ordinal and probit logit and
binary logit modelling are used to analyse the results.

  • Dates:

    2007 to 2013

  • Qualification:

    Doctorate (PhD)

Project Team