Something we’ve known for a long time is now proven in a new report. Pedestrian crossings do not allow older people enough time to cross the road. The study found that for those over the age of 65, 76% of men and 85% of women have a walking speed slower than that needed to use a pedestrian crossing.
According to a report from the BBC, the speed is set by the United Kingdom Department for Transport is 1.2 metres (4 ft) per second – an international standard.
The study used walking speed tests from around 3,000 older adults performed by the Health Survey (HSE) for England in 2005. The participant’s normal walking speed was assessed by timing how long it took them to walk 2.5 meters (8 ft) at their normal pace. The average walking speed for older men was 0.9 metres (3 ft) per second and 0.8 metres second for older women.
The lights at pedestrian crossing have a number of stages.
On an average road the green man will stay lit for around 4 seconds, it then has a flashing or black out stage, this is for around 6 seconds plus an extra second for each 1.2 metres (4 ft) where the road is wider 6 metres (20ft).
In Paris, Tokyo and Singapore there are already pilot programs under way to test different systems for pedestrian crossings for the elderly and otherwise disabled.