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“Ten points for the pedestrian” – Are you safe from pavement predators?

Road traffic | Personal Injury

As Jersey personal injury lawyers, we deal with road traffic incidents on Jersey roads on a regular basis. We are accustomed to dealing with injuries to drivers and their passengers arising out of collisions between vehicles. We frequently deal with disputes as to a particular vehicle’s right of way, whether the parties involved were adhering to appropriate standards of driving and so on. These scenarios are to be expected by any Jersey personal injury lawyer.

Recently however, we have been dealing with the unexpected, the shocking and the deeply disturbing. We refer of course to the number of vehicles colliding with pedestrians, either whilst those pedestrians are crossing the road, or, more worryingly, by mounting the pavement and running innocent bystanders down from behind.

Whether walking to the shop for a pint of milk, walking your child home from school or wheeling a pushchair around the block, in the absence of stricter enforcement of traffic regulations, it appears that the mantra must be “expect the unexpected”.

We live in an age when people (particularly children) are encouraged to “think green”, to cycle and to walk. We also live in an age where most of us are glued to our phones, distracted, lead increasingly busy lives and are constantly rushing from place to place.

The office worker speeding to work, juggling a phone and a flask of coffee, could easily obliterate someone’s grandmother on her way to the bus stop. The harassed parent ferrying a car full of kids from ballet to swimming could easily cause a catastrophic loss to another parent.

The number of vehicles registered in Jersey has more than doubled since 1980. In 1980 there were 57,409 vehicles registered for use on our island’s roads. By 2016, that number had increased to 124,737 – meaning that there were more cars registered for use on our island’s roads than people living here. The average size of vehicles has also increased exponentially. Roads which were designed with the Classic Mini or the 1970s Ford Fiesta in mind now see colossal buses trying to squeeze past the latest four by four – frequently with one or other party mounting the pavement to do so. Perhaps worst of all from the pedestrian’s perspective, we now have silent cars.

Are our roads fit for purpose? Do we require stricter enforcement of our traffic regulations? Should there be a limit on the size of vehicles which may be imported for both commercial and recreational use? Are pedestrian crossings sufficiently well-marked? Is it safe to think green, or do we need to travel everywhere safely encased in steel and aluminium?

Whilst, regrettably, we as a firm are unable to prevent accidents involving pedestrians, we are here to help should the worst happen. If you have been involved in an accident and require assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our Jersey personal injury lawyers.

Rebecca Gueno | Personal Injury team

For further information please do not hesitate to call 630530 or email us on pi@parslowsjersey.com

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