Since New Year’s Eve at least a half dozen pedestrians have been hit and killed by vehicles in the greater Bay Area.

The Dutch have already dealt with this conundrum over the last few decades with changes that have been praised by transportation planners. KCBS interviewed an expert on the issue who said we could take a page from their culture.

“They think of cities as places for people in which cars (motor vehicles) are guests,” said Peter Furth, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University.

Furth teaches a class about Netherlands’ street culture and said their drivers have a different attitude.

“They think of pedestrians and bicyclists as vulnerable road users and it is absolutely every driver’s obligation to protect those vulnerable users.”

Those attitudes are reinforced with harsh insurance penalties for drivers who strike a pedestrian or cyclist. They also have a philosophy that no pedestrian should ever have to cross more than two lanes of traffic at a time and one would be preferable.