Pedestrian crossing where wife was run over fails safety experts' tests


Last updated at 23:54 18 May 2007

Iveta and Leo Iravanian

A businessman who

claims his wife was killed

on a pedestrian crossing

because it was

dangerous has been backed by

traffic experts.

Moments after Leo

Iravanian dropped his wife Iveta

near her office and waved

goodbye, she was knocked

down by a coach as she

walked in front of the fourth

and final lane of traffic.

Now, after a three-month

fight to prove that his

safetyconscious wife had not ignored

the lights, he has discovered

they failed to meet minimum

safety standards.

Experts said the time

pedestrians had to cross the road

after the green man

disappeared was less than half

Department for Transport guidelines.

Anyone stepping on the

crossing at the end of the

green pedestrian phase would

have only five seconds to reach

safety before the green light for traffic came on.

But the

14.3-metre crossing should have

a 12-second safety margin.

Mr Iravanian, 42, had already

driven away when his wife was

killed. He said: "I will never give

up until I get justice for Iveta.

"My wife was very aware of her

safety, she would never have

gone through a red light.

"I didn’t know she had died.

She didn’t deserve this."

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Traffic lights

He and traffic engineers

Morgan Tucker fear more

crossings could fail to meet the

recommended standards, putting

other pedestrians in danger.

He added: "I was amazed by

what I found out. I’m worried

about someone else being

killed. We are entitled to know

we can cross the road safely."

Hungarian-born Mrs

Iravanian, 33, was killed in February

near Victoria Station.

To cross the road safely on

her way to work, she walked to

reach the crossing instead of

dodging traffic where her

husband had left her.

She was almost at the

opposite pavement when she

was hit by the National

Express coach.

The crossing was a "signalised junction" for

pedestrians and traffic, and had no flashing green man phase.

When the green man goes out

there is a delay before the

traffic light goes green for cars.

Pedestrians must not cross if

they see the green man go out

but there should be enough

time to reach the other side if

they are already crossing.

Police told Mr Iravanian, of

Golders Green, North London,

his wife must have ignored the

red man on the traffic light

telling pedestrians to wait.


he refused to believe she

would have been reckless. He

contacted Transport For

London to complain that a twisted

signal could confuse

pedestrians by showing them a red

light meant for cars.

He also spent hours at the

scene watching people cross,

paid a private detective to find

witnesses and hired road

safety specialists Morgan

Tucker to make an expert

assessment of the crossing.

What he found heightened his

fears. As well as an inadequate

five-second pedestrian safety

margin, the gap be-tween the

traffic stop line and the

crossing was too small.

The minimum gap should be

two metres, but Morgan

Tucker proved at its narrowest

it was 80cm.

They said: "On three

occasions pedestrians crossing

towards the end of the green

man period could not get to

the other side of the crossing

before the traffic phase had

turned green.

"The behaviour of drivers

was, in all cases, not to wait for

them to complete the crossing

but to start moving across."

The firm’s Steve Hall said:

"There is a potential risk to

pedestrian safety. To what

extent that contributed to the

accident we don’t know."

TfL said the crossing

complied with old regulations but

admitted they did not meet

guidelines introduced in 2005.

He said they were among 400

lights being upgraded this year.

But he added: "We will defend

any allegation that the timing

of these lights was the cause of

Mrs Iravanian’s death."

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