The first country to attempt to ensure pedestrian safety was England. Pedestrian crossing and safety has been a significant concern for hundreds of years. Originally foot traffic used to compete with horse and carriage on the road. The very first signals were manufactured by railway sign makers and contained a lever that was raised and lowered by a police officer. It wasn’t until the year 1929 that the very first crosswalks were designed for pedestrians. Pedestrian crossing was granted the right of way so long as pedestrians adhered to traffic signals. This was the first time in history that pedestrian safety was enforced.
In the year 1955 the signals with the terms “walk” and “don’t walk” were installed at intersections. Areas with schools and residential locations received additional signs for added safety. In 1978 laws were passed to ensure vehicles yield to pedestrians. This in turn prohibited jay walking to help ensure the safety of everyone on the roads. Unfortunately, there are roughly 70,000 pedestrians killed annually to this day. Because of this, firm laws and proper signage continue to be extremely important. Young boys between the ages of 5 and 9 years old are most susceptible to a pedestrian crashes. Remember this next time you are behind the wheel next to an intersection. It is important that both as pedestrians and while driving a vehicle that we pay attention to road signs to ensure everyone’s safety.