Understanding pedestrian crossing behaviour : a case study in the Western Cape, South Africa

Nteziyaremye, Pascal (2013-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Road traffic accidents have been a global concern facing all countries. Approximately 1.2 million people are killed annually as a result of traffic accidents and 50 million are injured. More than 90 percent of road fatalities occur in the developing world which has only 48 percent of the world’s registered vehicles. Beyond the problem of road fatalities, road traffic accidents result in disability and long term injury. They also cause considerable economic losses to victims and their families and damage properties and infrastructures. In South Africa, pedestrian fatalities account for about 40 percent of all road traffic accidents. Behaviour patterns of both pedestrians and motorists at pedestrian crossings are the main influential factors of pedestrian accidents. This study investigates behaviour patterns of pedestrians negotiating different types of crossing facilities in the town of Stellenbosch, in South Africa. A total number of 17 pedestrian crossings were selected for the study on the basis of their geometric and operational characteristics. Video-based observations together with on-street interviews were used to understand crossing behaviour patterns, namely pedestrian walking speed, pedestrian delay, gaze behaviour, pedestrian-vehicle conflicts, pedestrian compliance with road traffic rules and gap-acceptance behaviour. Results of the study showed that male pedestrians walk more than female pedestrians. The 15th percentile crossing speed for all pedestrians observed while crossing was found to be 1.13 m/s whereas the mean crossing speed was found to be 1.48 m/s. Demographic variables appeared to significantly influence pedestrian walking speed. Male and younger pedestrians exhibited higher walking speeds than female and older pedestrians. Pedestrian walking speed was also found to be affected by group size, encumbrance, type of pedestrian facility and distraction while walking. However, no effects of conflicts and the presence of a pedestrian refuge on pedestrian walking speed were found in this study. A mean total delay of 5.10 seconds was found in this study. Male and younger pedestrians experienced shorter delay compared to female and older pedestrians. The type of pedestrian facility and traffic signals during which pedestrians arrived at the kerb and crossed appeared to be other influential factors of pedestrian delay. With regard to gaze behaviour, an average number of head movements ranged from 2 to 5 at the kerb and from 3 to 5 while crossing. Conflicts with motorists peaked where crossing distances were longer and traffic volume was heavy. A red light violation ranging from 82 to 87 percent was observed in this study and on-street surveys indicated that beliefs and attitudes towards traffic control devices and traffic environment significantly explained pedestrians’ unsafe crossing behaviour. The calculated critical gap and critical lag ranged from 2.19 to 3.90 seconds and the effect of crossing distance on gap-acceptance emerged in this study. Possible interventions are finally suggested.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Padongelukke is 'n wêreldwye probleem wat al die lande in die gesig staar. Ongeveer 1,2 miljoen mense sterf jaarliks as 'n gevolg van verkeersongelukke en 50 miljoen word beseer. Meer as 90 persent van padsterftes kom voor in die ontwikkelende wêreld met slegs 48 persent van die wêreld se geregistreerde voertuie. Bo en behalwe die probleem van padsterftes, het padongelukke gestremdheid en lang termyn beserings tot gevolg. Dit veroorsaak ook aansienlike ekonomiese verliese vir die slagoffers en hul gesinne en skade aan eiendomme en infrastruktuur. In Suid-Afrika is voetgangersterftes verantwoordelik vir sowat 40% van alle padongelukke. Gedragspatrone van beide voetgangers en motoriste by voetoorgange is die belangrikste bepalende faktore van voetganger-ongelukke. Hierdie studie ondersoek gedragspatrone van voetgangers by verskillende tipes kruisings in die dorp van Stellenbosch Suid-Afrika. ʼn Totale aantal van 17 voetoorgange is gekies vir die studie op die basis van hul geometriese en operasionele eienskappe. Video-gebaseerde waarnemings saam met op-straat onderhoude is gebruik om kruising-gedragspatrone, naamlik voetganger stapspoed, voetganger vertraging, kyk gedrag, voetganger-voertuig konflikte, voetganger nakoming van padverkeersreëls en gaping-aanvaarding gedrag te verstaan. Resultate van die studie het getoon dat manlike voetgangers vinniger loop as vroulike voetgangers. Die 15de persentiel kruising spoed vir alle voetgangers waargeneem binne kruisings was 1,13 m/s, terwyl die gemiddelde kruising spoed 1,48 m/s is. Demografiese veranderlikes beïnvloed voetgangers loop-spoed. Manlik en jonger voetgangers loop vinniger as vroulike en ouer voetgangers. Voetgangers loop-spoed word ook geraak deur die grootte van die groep, die dra van items, die tipe voetganger-fasiliteit en afleiding terwyl geloop word. Daar is egter geen gevolge van konflikte op voetgangers loop-spoed in hierdie studie gevind nie. 'n Gemiddelde totale vertraging van 5,10 sekondes is in hierdie studie gevind. Manlik en jonger voetgangers ervaar korter vertraging in vergelyking met die vroulike en ouer voetgangers. Die tipe voetgangerfasiliteit en verkeerseine was ander invloedryke faktore van voetganger vertraging. Vir waarneming van die verkeer is gevind dat die gemiddelde aantal kopbewegings gewissel het van 2 tot 5 teen die randsteen en van 3 tot 5, tydens die kruising. Konflikte met motoriste het ʼn hoogtepunt bereik waar kruising afstande langer en verkeersvolume hoër was. Rooi lig oortredings wat wissel van 82 tot 87 persent is in hierdie studie waargeneem en op-straat opnames het aangedui dat houdings teenoor verkeer-beheer toestelle en die verkeersomgewing die voetgangers se onveilige kruising-gedrag verduidelik. Die berekende kritiese gaping het gewissel van 2,19 tot 3,90 sekondes en die effek van die kruisinglengte op gaping-aanvaarding het in hierdie studie na vore gekom. Moontlike intervensies word voorgestel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80368
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