A Fife councillor has called for zebra crossings across Fife to be scrapped amid fears someone will be killed.
John O’Brien said he had witnessed a number of near misses on crossings near his home in Methil and had received scores of complaints from constituents.
He has now written to Fife Council leader David Ross and traffic management officials requesting that all zebra crossings are replaced with red light crossings.
“It is my belief that zebra crossings are outdated and a health and safety risk to the public,” he said.
The local authority’s transport spokesman said Mr O’Brien had a valid point but claimed his one-size fits all solution was not the answer.
It is 65 years since zebra crossings were first introduced in the UK, but between 2006 and 2011 more than 1,000 were removed and replaced with alternatives with lights and flashing signs after the number of deaths doubled.
Last year alone, six people were killed and 149 were seriously injured on zebra crossings in Britain – although three times as many were killed on other types of pedestrian crossings.
Mr O’Brien, SNP councillor for Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages, said a huge increase in the amount of traffic over the years combined with added distractions for drivers had proved to be a danger for people trying to cross.
“To be honest, I don’t feel safe crossing them,” he said.
“There have been so many accidents and at the one outside Woodlands Family Nurture Centre in Methil, people take their lives in their hands every day.”
He added: “They are old fashioned and I think Fife Council, as one of the leading councils in the UK, should look to banish them.”
Zebra crossings cost around £10,000 to install but drivers are only required to stop if a pedestrian steps onto it.
Pelican and puffin crossings cost around £35,000 and drivers must stop if faced with a red light.
Councillor John Wincott, spokesperson for environment and transport, said: “Councillor O’Brien raises some valid concerns about driver behaviour, however his solution of one size fits all really is not the answer.
“I know from personal experience that, unfortunately, red lights don’t always make drivers stop either.
“Individuals must take responsibility for driving safely and abiding by the law and it’s the role of Police Scotland to tackle dangerous driving.”
Mr Wincott said there was no evidence to suggest one type of crossing was safer than another.
Indeed, Mike Bristow, spokesperson for Brake, the road safety charity, told The Courier that zebra crossings play a key role in protecting the public.
“Zebra crossings remain an important and instantly recognisable part of the road environment,” he said.
“We don’t think the wholesale scrapping of them is the solution.
“We urge councils to retain zebra crossings, and implement wider measures, such as 20mph limits, which are proven to help safe lives.”