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Older adults 'need longer crossing times'

Older adults 'need longer crossing times'
15th June 2012

Older adults do not have enough time at a pedestrian crossing to get to the other side safely, according to new research.

A study at University College London found that 76 per cent of men over 65 and 85 per cent of women walk at a slower pace than that required to use a crossing.

The discovery was made when researchers analysed the walking speeds of around 3,000 older adults submitted for the Health and Safety Executive's Health Survey 2005.

Following the study, the team are calling for the times at pedestrian crossings to be reviewed.

Dr Laura Asher, report leader and public health expert, commented: "Being unable to cross a road may deter [older adults] from walking, reducing their access to social contacts and interaction, local health services and shops that are all important in day-to-day life."

Currently, the walking pace to make it across a crossing safely is four feet per second - a speed many are unable to match.

However, should officials opt to review crossing times, they will have to take into consideration the effect this may have on traffic.

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