In spite of countless improvements in traffic safety, pedestrians remain the weakest link. Especially the youngest ones, who in September have been flocking back to the classroom. They are in the greatest danger when crossing roads. In Bled, Zavarovalnica Triglav therefore oversaw the installing of COPS@zebra, an innovative warning system enabling pedestrians to cross the road safely while also helping drivers. And the Gorenjska region as a whole is now better off for having a new “Your Speed” speed display in Škofja Loka.
Last year’s statistics show that seven pedestrians lost their lives, with most of these fatalities occurring when they were crossing the road. The total number of vulnerable road users who lost their lives, which in addition to pedestrians includes riders and passengers of single-track motor vehicles and bicycles, amounted to 39 in 2020, accounting for 49% of all road fatalities. According to figures from the police, the most frequent victims of road accidents are pedestrians, and this is caused by careless drivers at pedestrian crossings. However, the fact that pedestrians themselves through their own carelessness are among those most often responsible for fatal road accidents is also worrying. This happens most often when they cross roads where it is not permitted. According to experts, the distraction caused by mobile phones and other devices is without doubt one of the main causes of road accidents.
A warning both for pedestrians and drivers
All of this helped prompt the development of the innovative system COPS@zebra, which is now also a feature in Bled, standing at a very heavily used pedestrian crossing on Prešeren Street by the Mercator supermarket. Since the crossing is situated on a bend, it does not have the best visibility and is therefore potentially quite dangerous.
The newly established system operates in a simple way, by warning pedestrians of oncoming vehicles and their speed. Simultaneously, it alerts drivers to the presence of pedestrians who are crossing the road or are about to do so. “Together with our project partners, we launched a trial run of the system last year in the city of Maribor, where we also conducted a study on its effectiveness. Most of the pedestrians who participated in the study confirmed that the COPS@zebra system makes them feel safer when crossing the road, so we are hoping for similar positive effects in the Gorenjska region, too,” explained Ana Cergolj Kebler, head of road safety projects at Zavarovalnica Triglav.
Traffic calming in Škofja Loka
For several years now, Slovenia’s largest insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav has been organising various activities to improve Slovenia’s dark road safety statistics. In order to increase safety on road sections that are dangerous and where visibility is poor, 81 speed indicator displays and 24 COPS@ROAD anti-collision systems, along with the same number of COPS@RAIL systems for alerting drivers of oncoming trains, have been installed in Slovenia. This year a further 11 innovative COPS@zebra systems will also be set up to warn pedestrians of oncoming vehicles and their speed. By the end of autumn this year a total of 116 different systems for greater road safety will have been installed in Slovenia, including 11 now in the Gorenjska region.
A new “Your Speed” speed display has been set up through Triglav on the dangerous section of the local road through the village of Bukovščica, which is the route to the local school branch and nursery school, and where the speed limit is 40 km/h. One week after the display had been set up, the share of speeding drivers fell by 7%, making the road safer for children and other road users.