Obese and overweight people in the UK will have extra time to walk across roads, new Department for Transport guidelines have revealed.
The green man stationed at the UK’s road crossings is set to stay lit up for longer as the population becomes “less fit”.
New Department for Transport (DfT) guidelines have revealed that the light will remain for an extra 20% of its current time to allow obese and overweight people enough time to cross the road, as well as “to encourage walking and make journeys safer.”
The government will hope the change decreases the risk of serious accidents as the allotted time for crossing the road increases from 6.1 seconds to 7.3.
An Active Travel England (ATE) spokesperson said: “We want to enable millions more people to travel by walking, wheeling and cycling for short trips. A big part of that is being able to make sure crossing times are inclusive so that they give enough time for everyone to cross the road.”
According to 2019 guidance from the Department for Transport (DfT), the assumed speed at which people cross a road can be decreased from 1.2 metres a second to 1 metre a second where there is a large number of slower pedestrians, for example. Few councils, however, have adopted the change.
Traffic control cameras are now so advanced that they may give extra time to pedestrians during quieter hours of the day.
The rule changes are already being used on a pilot basis and will be put to consultation this September.
A UK report in March this year warned more than half the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035.
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