The Pedestrian Safety Manual is a Good Practice Guide for decision makers and practitioners that Walk21 worked with the WHO to produce.
Each year, more than 300,000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads. Globally, pedestrians constitute 22% of all road traffic fatalities, and in some countries this proportion is as high as two thirds of all road traffic deaths. Many leave their homes as they would on any given day never to return. Millions of pedestrians are non-fatally injured, some of whom are left with permanent disabilities. These incidents cause much suffering and grief as well as economic hardship.
In recognition of this issue, in 2010 the UN General Assembly declared a Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011–2020). They sought to save millions of lives by building road safety management capacity; improving the safety of road infrastructure; further developing the safety of vehicles; enhancing the behaviour of road users; and improving post-crash response.
The WHO commissioned a Pedestrian Safety manual in 2013, as a contribution to the Decade of Action for Road Safety and designed for a multidisciplinary audience including engineers, planners, police, public health professionals and educators. The report was written with the aim of documenting the magnitude of the problem and helping multidisciplinary audiences to contribute towards strengthening national and local capacity to implement pedestrian safety measures in settings worldwide.
The key risks to pedestrians are well documented, and they include a broad range of factors: driver behaviour, particularly speeding, drinking and driving; the lack of sidewalks, crossings and raised medians; and solid vehicle fronts that are not forgiving to pedestrians should they be struck. Poor trauma care services in many settings also thwart efforts to provide the urgent treatment needed to save pedestrian lives in the event of a collision.
Walk21 worked with WHO to produce the road safety manual and Jim Walker peer reviewed it.