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Pedestrians: Zebra crossings not safe

More than half of Finns say motorists habitually break traffic rules, according to a fresh poll by Liikenneturva, Finland’s Central Organisation for Traffic Safety.

Liikennevalot ja suojatie
Image: Antti Eintola / Yle

Some 53 percent of respondents said cars rarely stop to let pedestrians pass at zebra crossings. Another 68 percent said that motorists frequently pass stopped cars at crosswalks—a situation in which a driver may fail to notice a pedestrian.

Hurry is often used as an excuse for breaking the law, says Liikenneturva's Managing Director, Anna-Liisa Tarvainen.

Inspector Dennis Pasterstein of the Helsinki traffic police points out that pedestrians also carry responsibility for safety on the roads.

“They must exercise caution. For example, one cannot run. And, in thinking whether one can go on the crossing, one should assess the distance from cars,” Pasterstein explains.

According to police, the best way to protect pedestrians would be to lower speed limits—a measure supported by a third of the poll’s respondents.

Last year 17 people were killed while crossing streets, and 600 pedestrians were hurt in various traffic accidents in Finland.

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More details are emerging about the two aid workers who were gunned down in western Afghanistan on Thursday while working for the International Assistance Mission. Both had long experience in the country and were well integrated into the local area, the IAM said. Meanwhile Finland's Foreign Minsiter told Yle on Friday that they have not received any more information about the murders than what has publicly come out of Afghanistan.

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