Every month 4 people die on Yerevan’s streets after being run over.
In Yerevan, around 52 run over cases are registered every month, 4 of which result in death. This is evidenced by data provided by the police from 2019 to July 2020.
According to the data, there were 988 run over cases registered in the capital over the specified 19-month period, which resulted in 1,000 people injured and 82 dead.
The Hetq Media Factory Team placed all run over cases on a map in order to understand which sections of the city had the most cases.
We singled out, visited, and observed the streets where most cases were registered. We found out from our observation that run overs are occurring due to 4 main factors: the negligence of drivers, the negligence of pedestrians, a lack of infrastructure, and the need to improve infrastructure.
The map shows the run over cases that took place from 2019 to July 2020. We did not map some cases, since the exact address was not specified by the police. Run over cases represented by dots can be seen by zooming in on each street.
Arshakunyats - Agatangeghos Intersection
During the specified period, there were 41 run over cases on Arshakunyats Avenue, 4 of which resulted in death. At the Arshakunyats-Agatangeghos intersection alone, there were 10 registered run over cases. In examining this area, we singled out 2 main factors that can lead to run overs.
The traffic light for cars turning right is always green, and cars and pedestrians often appear at the crosswalk at the same time. The fact that the traffic light is always green is especially dangerous in the evening hours and in cases where cars are turning right at a high speed and are unable to brake in time to give way to pedestrians who are crossing. In addition, the traffic light for pedestrians at this intersection is green for 23 seconds, which is not enough time–especially for the elderly and people with disabilities–to cross a wide street.
Arshakunyats - Masis Intersection
There were 5 registered run over cases from 2019 to July 2020 at the Arshakunyats-Masis intersection. According to the 2016 Yandex Street View image, this area was not equipped with traffic lights for cars and pedestrians. As of May 2021, the intersection is regulated by pedestrian traffic lights. We did not register any obvious problems during our observation.
Komitas - Shirvanzade to Vratsyan
Komitas Avenue is also one of the streets in Yerevan with the most car accidents. Over the last two years, there have been 34 registered run over cases, 2 ending in death. We examined sections of the avenue where run over cases were registered most frequently.
There were 13 incidents from Komitas-Shirvanzade to Vratsakan. Our observation showed that, from Lambada Bridge, it is possible to turn right onto Shirvanzade street toward the road leading to Komitas. There is no traffic light, the pedestrian crossing is not regulated, and there are trees blocking the driver’s view of pedestrians passing by.
Barekamutyun Overpass Toward Baghramyan Str.
There were 11 cases in this area. Although the Barekamutyun metro underpass allows pedestrians to get by safely, some passers-by continue to cross the street where it is not allowed. In addition, pedestrians cross in front of the SAS supermarket on Baghramyan street, ignoring the fact that there is a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights just 200 meters away.
Khanjyan, from Vernissage to Tigran Mets
There were 9 run over cases in this area. There is an underpass near Vernissage, and there is also an overpass from Vernissage toward Tigran Mets Avenue that unfortunately doesn’t always serve its purpose. Our camera recorded cases in which the pedestrian crossed the street right next to the overpass.
Abovyan - Pushkin Intersection
There were 14 run over cases on Abovyan Street. We observed the Abovyan-Pushkin intersection, where there were 3 registered cases in 2 years. The three sides of this intersection are equipped with crosswalk markings that are not regulated by traffic lights. During our observation, we noticed that the pedestrian automatically crosses the intersection at the passage that is unmarked. There is a need to improve the infrastructure in this area by adding traffic lights and additional markings. The Abovyan-Pushkin intersection is very active, especially in the evening, and cars often driven several times faster than allowed, which can have a tragic ending.
Sebastia - Tichina Intersection
There were 30 registered run over cases on Sebastia street from 2019 to 2020, 4 of which resulted in death.
We observed the Sebastia-Tichina intersection, where 2 incidents took place.
Cars turning right or left in this area often intersect with pedestrians crossing at a green light. In this case, the full responsibility is put on the driver to use caution.
Sebastia - Leningradyan Intersection
There were 3 run over cases in this area. There is a marked pedestrian crossing that is regulated by traffic lights, giving pedestrians 20 seconds to cross the street. At the same time, the right lane on Sebastia toward Leningradyan is always open, which means that cars turning right and pedestrians again intersect.
Malatia - Sebastia
There were 8 run over cases in this area. The intersection is equipped with a marked crossing, but the main pedestrian stream comes from the entrance of Yerevan City. Supermarket customers cross the street near the entrance of the supermarket where there is no pedestrian crossing.
There were 19 registered run over cases from 2019 to July 2020 in this area, 2 of which resulted in death. We specifically observed the road in front of the Mega Mall, where our camera caught people crossing the street where there was no pedestrian crossing, meanwhile the underpass was just a few meters below.
Pedestrian crossings are not adapted for the elderly and people with disabilities.
During our observations, we noticed how people with disabilities risked their lives while crossing the street. There are traffic lights with sound signals at only a few central streets in Yerevan, while the blind live not only in the center but also in the suburbs. In addition, most pedestrian crossings do not have ramps.
The city’s underpasses and overpasses are not equipped with elevators. Elderly people can often be seen just below the overpass, crossing the street where it is not allowed. One of the reasons for this is that they cannot climb up and down dozens of stairs just to cross the street.
The traffic police should analyze the statistics
Lawyer Ashkhen Dashyan says that collisions and run overs are frequently registered where road signs are incorrectly placed, absent, or not visible. The lawyer finds the wear and tear of markings for both pedestrian crossings and cars problematic.
“There are a lot of run overs in cases where the pedestrian marking and car stop line are very close to one another. There are cases where drivers can go and pedestrians have a green light, but it’s impossible for the pedestrian to quickly notice and the car to quickly come to a stop, because the stop line and pedestrian crossing are so close,” describes Dashyan.
According to the lawyer, there is another situation that causes run overs. This is when the car giving way for the pedestrian does not turn on its signals and the car behind it tries to go around, not knowing that there is a pedestrian in front of the car, which then results in a car accident.
Ashkhen Dashyan also singles out the issue of infrastructure, particularly as it concerns traffic lights. According to her, there are still old, dim colored traffic lights in many districts, which confuse both the driver and the pedestrian.
The lawyer also emphasized that the vast majority of run overs happen when the pedestrian crosses where it is not allowed or is careless when crossing the street. “Every day we face incidents where it is obvious that the pedestrian is at fault. Often, the pedestrian appears in front of a car in the most unexpected places. They are also unpredictable. There really is a problem with pedestrians. We haven’t learned how to cross the street in a civilized way,” says Ashken Dashyan.