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Liverpool’s new smart crossings aim to prevent deaths in pedestrian road traffic accidents

Group of busy people in suits crossing the road


It was recently reported that Liverpool City Council will be trialling a newly devised pedestrian crossing at two accident blackspots across the city.

Designed by Liverpool behavioural science firm So-Mo, the new ‘smart’ pedestrian crossings were devised to try cut down on pedestrian road deaths. These new crossings will help pedestrians to cross the road more safely using audio-visual prompts called ‘embedded nudges.’

These new crossings will be installed for trials in two collision hotspots in the city, including on Hanover Street/Bold Street in the city centre after Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet approved the report. Bold Street is one of the UK’s most dangerous pedestrian crossings, and the council is hoping that the installation of the new smart crossing will reduce the number of pedestrian accidents by encouraging more pedestrians to use the crossing through the embedded nudges.


View of Liverpool Lime Street at night with fast, red car lights on the road


The second site where the other crossing will be installed is yet to be announced but is said to be a busy high street on the outskirts of the city. This site will use a ‘faster boarding’ system reducing wait times for pedestrians by giving them priority over cars. These crossings will be implemented for a two-year trial period during which they will be assessed and analysed to determine if they will change pedestrian crossing behaviour.

The trials are being funded by the Road Safety Trust, with the support of the Department of Transport and the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership. Chief executive of So-Mo, Nicola Wass, said: “Liverpool should be proud of the fact that they are taking an imaginative, intelligent approach to road safety.

“These crossings have been informed by science but designed with a deeper understanding of the people who use them. The point of doing a trial before launching any new crossing designs is that it allows us to know with certainty whether these new elements work or not.”


Liverpool has the highest rate of serious injuries or deaths from pedestrian collisions out of all UK metropolitan boroughs

At 99 per 100,000 people, Liverpool has the highest rate of adult deaths or serious injuries for pedestrian collisions in the UK metropolitan boroughs. Liverpool also has the highest rate of child pedestrian deaths or serious injuries in road traffic collisions at a rate of 130 per 100,000. Statistics show that Liverpool’s rate is over double the national average.


Photograph of a pedestrian button crossing next to road


Just last week, the Liverpool Echo reported that a man had been ‘very badly’ injured after being hit by a bus in Childwall, South Liverpool. Earlier in the year it was reported that a woman had died after being hit by a car in Hunts Cross and just a few hours after this first crash, a motorbike accident occurred in the same location. Liverpool City Council and road safety partners have been trying to bring down the number of pedestrian injuries, and the new crossing trials are part of this strategy.

Councillor Sharon Connor, Cabinet member for Highways, added: “Far too many people lose their lives or are seriously injured as pedestrians in Liverpool. It’s a problem we’ve been tackling and have had some success with over the past decade, but we need to be radical to make the progress we all want.”


Pedestrian accident statistics

There were a reported 160,597 casualties in road traffic accidents reported to the police in 2018. Over half of all road deaths occur in vulnerable road users, this includes pedestrians, pedal cyclists, and motorcyclists. According to the Department of Transport, there were a reported 22,432 pedestrian casualties and 456 pedestrian fatalities in 2018. Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable road users because they do not have the same protection as other road users. This usually means they are at particular risk of suffering, catastrophic, serious, and fatal injuries.


Photograph of woman pedestrian crossing the road about to be hit by a red car


HNK Solicitors can help with your pedestrian accident claim

Here at HNK Solicitors we understand the impact a pedestrian road traffic accident can have on your life. It can cause long-term pain and suffering from physical and psychological injuries. We have a team of dedicated road traffic accident solicitors who have years of experience handling pedestrian accident claims. We put client care at the forefront of everything we do, so when we take on your pedestrian accident claim, we ensure you get the best quality rehabilitation and treatment to help you recover from your injuries. Our main aim is to ensure you get the support you need to recover from your injuries and look to the future, whilst we fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

If you were injured as a pedestrian in a road traffic accident, contact HNK Solicitors today to arrange your free no-obligation consultation on 0151 203 1104, or email us at enquiries@hnksolicitors.com. To find out more about making a pedestrian accident claim and what you can claim for, visit our pedestrian accident claims page.

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