In May 2000, the Swedish code governing the conduct of drivers at marked crosswalks became stricter with the intent to improve safety and mobility for pedestrians. A crash analysis based on a macro study of all of Sweden suggests that the injury risk in marked, not reconstructed, crosswalks increased by 27% for pedestrians and 19% for bicyclists. The reason for this may be that pedestrians get a false sense of safety with the new code. Reconstructions aiming at lowering speeds are indeed needed for the change of code to be positive. The 90-percentile speed should not exceed 30 km/h or safety will deteriorate.
However, low speed by itself may not guarantee optimal safety. Safety can be further improved at sites, which already have been reconstructed to ensure low speeds. Results based on field data collected at sites close to schools in Malmö, Trollhättan and Borås in Sweden, and in-depth studies and other analyses of Finnish and Swedish police-reported crashes, suggest that safety of children and elderly is further improved at sites where visibility, orientation and clarity are sufficient. Also, marking crosswalks may increase yield rates (expected improvement 6%) towards pedestrians; and speed cushions situated at a longer distance from the marked crosswalk increase yield rates towards pedestrians and cyclists compared to speed cushions closer by.
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