Media Release

Major ORTA blunder

Pedestrian Lives at Risk

Sunday 10 September 2000
The Chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA), Mr Harold Scruby, today called on Ministers Knight and Scully to urgently correct a major blunder by ORTA, which will place in jeopardy the lives and limbs of pedestrians using the CBD, now and during the Olympics.

Mr Scruby said: "ORTA has illegally signposted many of the pedestrian crossings and other dangerous areas throughout the CBD, so that taxis are now invited to stop, for up to a minute, in these locations. This includes some of the busiest pedestrian crossings like those located in George Street at Martin Place and George Street at King Street.

"Taxis are normally permitted to stop within the CBD for up to a minute, under the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management - Road Rules) Regulation 1999 (copy attached), in marked zones, (quote): `in which a no stopping sign applies that displays a reference to particular days or times when restrictions apply’. "But this Regulation was never intended to apply to pedestrian zones or other areas where it is already illegal or dangerous to stop.

"Road Safety experts all agree that it is extremely dangerous for vehicles to stop in pedestrian crossings or zones, as the vision of pedestrians and motorists is obstructed. That’s why it is illegal. That’s why the penalty is $206. That’s why the NRMA has supported, in writing, the PCA’s call for 3 demerit points for this offence. And to add insult to injury, this could cause traffic chaos, because if a vehicle does stop in front of, or on a pedestrian crossing, it is an offence for another vehicle to overtake that vehicle (see attached ARR 65).

Additionally, Mr Scruby said: "We have already experienced our first Olympian pedestrian death, with the tragic loss of a Nigerian athlete last week. And the NSW Pedestrian Road Toll this year stands at 88 - 8 higher than last year.

"We not only demand that the Government replace all the incorrect signs in the CBD immediately, but we implore Ministers Knight and Scully to override Lord Mayor Sartor and make the Sydney CBD a 40 km/h zone throughout the Olympics and Paralympics and introduce double-demerit points, at least during the Olympic period. (see PCA Media Release 7 August attached).

"Last week’s tragic Olympian accident and the horrific pedestrian death toll are significant warnings and demand urgent and decisive action," Mr Scruby said.

Contact: Harold Scruby – Chairman/CEO (0418) 110-011 or (02) 9968-4555


Email: - Internet: - Fax (02) 9968-4566 - Phone (02) 9968-4544