Authors: M Groenewald

Keyword: road deaths, road fatalities, road safety, traffic accidents


Pedestrian behaviour is influenced by many factors which may result in pedestrians being involved in accidents and could increase the risk and vulnerability of pedestrians. There is no simple universal solution that will reduce pedestrian accidents or the severity thereof. Pedestrian safety is everybody’s concern and we should all work together to find solutions to the problem. A systems approach to improving human behaviour suggests that we need to address the problem at different levels by simultaneously implementing engineering, enforcement, education and encouragement interventions. This paper consists of a literature review of pedestrian behavioural studies carried out internationally and outlines a longitudinal study that consists of three phases, namely: 1. a before-study; 2. a phase where community pedestrian safety projects are implemented (including a community road safety forum and community road safety officers that will educate learners and either start a ‘walking school bus’ or scholar patrol, improvement of pedestrian facilities and increased enforcement); and 3. An after-study. Each phase consists of four aspects namely: Engineering, Education, Law enforcement, and Encouragement. The before study includes a road safety assessment of the pedestrian facilities, pedestrian accident statistics for the last three years, and a human behaviour ‘before’ questionnaire. The questionnaire was used to test the knowledge and attitude of pedestrians. The after-study consists of a review of the pedestrian facilities and pedestrian statistics, and a post-project questionnaire conducted on the same respondents, in order to determine if there was a measurable change in behaviour of pedestrians and an increase in road safety knowledge. This paper also reports on the implementation of the above proposed methodology as part of the Olifant’s River-Water-Resources-Development-Project: Phase 2. The Olifant’s River-Community-Road-Safety-Project consists of road safety education at seven schools over a 12 month period, pedestrian safety audits and pre- and post-implementation questionnaires. The paper concludes by summarizing strengths and weaknesses of the project and highlighting lessons learnt to be implemented in future projects.