In the Economist article, Why Sweden has so few road deaths, the writer shares a mere 3 in 100,00 Swedes die on the roads annually. This is lower than the European Union, United States and the Dominican Republic. “Planning has played the biggest part in reducing accidents. Roads in Sweden are built with safety prioritized over speed or convenience. Low urban speed-limits, pedestrian zones and barriers that separate cars from bikes and oncoming traffic have helped” [i].

Pedestrian Laws

Pedestrian laws are those that protect bikers and walkers. Without them, the goal of having truly livable cities in America remains out of reach. Simply making physical changes, like creating a bike or pedestrian lane in a street doesn’t change much. There have to be appropriate laws to govern the interactions among walkers, cyclists and drivers in order to effect change and make people safe.

Complications in Pedestrian Legislation

The United States has fifty different states with fifty different sets of legislation, which can differ even further from city to city and county-to-county. Those who wish to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians have a big job ahead of them.

Do Strict Laws Help?

Some countries have laws that say if you are a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle and you strike a cyclist or pedestrian, you are automatically at fault and there is no way the pedestrian or cyclist can be blamed for the accident. For example, Holland has this type of system in place, and bicycling there is a wonderful experience. There, cyclists ride right in the middle of heavy traffic, commute to work, carry groceries and children, and all the while are confident that drivers are aware of them and protecting them. And although there are plenty of bike lanes, it’s not the lines on the road that keeps cyclists unharmed. The drivers are held legally responsible for the potential outcomes of their motor vehicles. It’s also fair in Holland, that if a person riding a bicycle strikes and injures a pedestrian, the cyclist is presumed to be at fault.

Portland OR Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you have questions regarding pedestrian laws in Portland, Oregon, the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC can help answer them. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact us at 503-233-6507 or by e-mail. [i] S.N. Why Sweden Has So Few Road Deaths. The Economist. Retrieved from