Drivers overlook pedestrians at crosswalks: Report
With a recent observational study conducted by daily Milliyet at various busy points of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city with more than 4 million registered vehicles, evaluations have been made whether drivers yield to pedestrians’ right to pass.
According to the study, most drivers continued on their way without slowing down, entirely neglecting pedestrians waiting at crosswalks and even violating the rules at the expense of pedestrian safety.
Although pedestrians have priority at crosswalks where they can choose to exercise their right to halt the vehicles and cross the roads, many preferred to wait instead if they saw a vehicle approaching close, fearing for their safety.
“Who is following the rules properly in Turkey? If one does, the other does not. Since I cannot know this, I prefer to wait rather than take risks,” said a pedestrian.
According to the report, seven out of 10 vehicles observed during the study did not comply with the rules, while only three of them gave priority to pedestrians.
Some 349 traffic accidents occurred in the first three months of 2021 across Turkey due to drivers not yielding to pedestrians’ right to pass.
According to the data provided by Turkey’s police department, 5,129 of the accidents involving death or personal injury in the first three months of 2021 occurred as a result of “hitting pedestrians,” while 349 of these accidents occurred because pedestrians were not given priority at crosswalks.
Mother lost her son due to driver’s negligence
Losing her 8-year-old son in a traffic accident due to a driver who ignored the rules, Mehtap Tekin told daily Milliyet the story of her tragedy.
“When my son was passing through the crosswalk, two vehicles on the right [lane] give him the way, but the vehicle coming from the left [lane] came so fast that it hit my son at that speed,” said Tekin, adding that as a result, her son succumbed to death.
“The police called us on the ninth day of my son’s death, telling us that a trial date has been set. We were not even over from the shock of our son’s death, unable to believe what had happened, we were given a trial date,” she said, noting that the driver was released on the first hearing on April 6.
Stating that she could not understand how the indictment was prepared so quickly before even the witnesses were heard and the speed determination was made, Tekin said that she objected to the decision and that she would do her best to keep the evidence from being obscured.
Meanwhile, traffic fines for 2021 have been increased by 9.11 percent.
With the new hikes, drivers who do not reduce their speed when approaching a pedestrian or school crossings and do not give priority to pedestrians’ right to pass will be fined 652 Turkish Liras ($79).