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Swiss anger over spate of crosswalk accidents

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11:57 CET+01:00

Authorities in Zurich and Winterthur have recorded 13 accidents on crosswalks in just one month, leaving one woman dead and 12 others injured, some of them seriously.

Hardly a day goes by in Switzerland at the moment without a serious accident involving a pedestrian. Swiss media have been raising awareness in recent days, especially after a report released on December 6th showed that half of zebra crossings in the country are dangerous.

The Swiss Touring Club (TCS) presented worrying conclusions after examining 100 crosswalks in 10 different cities this year: only 45 were judged "satisfactory" in terms of safety. The other 55 were rated "insufficient" or "very inadequate."

Tests performed by the TCS were based on specific criteria such as design, length, signs, markings, lights, traffic islands, and maintenance. Visibility at day and night, accessibility, especially for people with disabilities, and the existence of potential barriers were also assessed.

There are between 40,000 and 50,000 pedestrian crossings in Switzerland. Gianantonio Scaramuzza, from the Council for Accident Prevention, also pointed out that “about half of them are designed wrongly, are obsolete or incomplete,” Tages Anzeiger reported.

In 2010, 20 people were killed on pedestrian crossings. However, according to Scaramuzza, safety on crosswalks has been significantly improved since the 1980s. In the last 30 years, there has been a 25 percent reduction in the number of accidents, he told Tages Anzeiger.

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