The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

News: The Green Cross Code returns updated for the age of the smartphone

Stop, look, listen ... put phone back in pocket


Green Cross Man returns for 2014

THE GREEN Cross Code, etched on the memories of schoolchildren of the 1970s and 1980s, is back for Road Safety Week 2014 – updated for the age of the smartphone.


Search for and buy your next car on driving.co.uk


As well as being reminded of the “Stop, look, listen” mantra, pedestrians are told that talking on the phone, texting, tweeting, web-surfing and listening to music are dangerous when they are crossing the road. The films add that pedestrians need to be aware of quietly approaching electric cars.

David Prowse, the original Green Cross Code man (and the actor behind the Darth Vader mask in the original Star Wars trilogy) has returned too: he’s now 79 but still fills out a superhero costume.

“Stop, look and listen: they’ve been the three basic pillars of road safety for decades, but they’re being ignored en masse every single day,” he said.

“When the original Green Cross Code public information films ran, road accident rates reduced significantly. But that was in the days before pedestrians wandered around glued to their smartphones or wearing giant headphones – now it appears adults are completely out of practice with road safety.”

The return of the Green Cross Code coincides with research by the insurer More Than revealing that 63% of adults admit they frequently cross roads in an unsafe place; 87% will walk out from between parked cars; 60% cross the road while talking on their phone; 40% often cross the road while texting; 40% cross while listening to music; and 30% step out from the kerb while using the internet or social media on their phone.

If you don’t remember the original Green Cross Code adverts, allow us to refresh your memory.

Pedestrians aged 25-59 are most likely to be killed or seriously injured, accounting for 36% of all casualties on UK roads. Some 39% of pedestrian road injuries are caused by adults not looking properly when they cross, and 11% of pedestrians hit by a car or cyclist had stepped into the road while talking, texting, gaming, tweeting or listening to loud music. In the More Than survey 32% of respondents admitted having narrowly avoided a collision.