Council targets pedestrians as the toll climbs

The Daily Telegraph

Wednesday 10 April 2002

The Daily Telegraph – Wednesday 10 April 2002

Council targets pedestrians as the toll climbs

Photo: Signs form a major part of Parramatta City Council's Don't Leave a Bad Impression pedestrian safety campaign.


A LOCAL council has been forced to introduce a tough campaign to stem the increasing number of pedestrians hit on its roads each year.

In 2000, five people were killed and 110 injured, causing Parramatta City Council to launch the pedestrian safety campaign, Don't Leave a Bad Impression.

In Parramatta the message has been plastered all over the city's bus shelters, traffic lights and rubbish bins and also will be stencilled on some key roads.

Previous road safety campaigns have not had the desired impact, so the council's campaign is hard hitting in the hope that people will take notice.

Lack of attention and the obsession with mobile phones have been blamed for the rise
in incidents, according to the Roads and Traffic Authority.

RTA statistics show fatalities and other serious injuries caused by road accidents in Parramatta are most likely to happen when people are not paying attention, when they are near bus stops or close to shopping centres.

The statistics also show that these accidents occur when both the driver and pedestrian are preoccupied and in a hurry to get somewhere, particularly at lunchtime.

Parramatta Lord Mayor John Haines said the campaign was aimed at the very people who were represented in accident statistics.

“The Don't Leave a Bad Impression tagline was chosen to wake pedestrians up to the fact that they will be the ones who are worse off, if a collision with a vehicle occurs,” Mr Haines said.

Information packs containing booklets, posters and stickers on pedestrian safety have been issued to employers across the Parramatta CBD to be distributed to their staff, reminding them of the dangers of carelessly crossing roads outside their work or home.
The booklets outline the many different pedestrian crossings that both drivers and pedestrians sometimes get confused.

These include traffic lights, pelican crossings, marked foot (zebra) crossings, children's crossings and pedestrian refuge islands.

Across NSW, pedestrians make up about 20 per cent of all people killed on the roads.
Chief executive of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, Harold Scruby, applauded the campaign, but stressed the need to educate drivers as well as pedestrians.

“The pain and suffering is double the cost to the community from a normal motor vehicle injury,” Mr Scruby said.
“We are currently trying to target those who stop on pedestrian crossings, double park outside schools and park in a bus lane.”
“We are wanting a loss of double demerit points for those offenders.”
“We have to educate people that dangerous parking can be as dangerous as dangerous driving. In 95 per cent of collisions with pedestrians, the driver is at fault.”

Making people take notice

  • In Parramatta three pedestrians were killed and 100 injured in 1999, rising to five people killed and 110 injured in 2000.

  • Pedestrians make up 20 per cent of all people killed on the roads in NSW.

  • In 95 per cent of accidents involving pedestrians, the driver is at fault.

Factors contributing to pedestrian accidents include:

  • Use of mobile phones by both drivers and pedestrians.

  • People are in a hurry and are not paying attention when they are in and around public transport pick-up points or close to shopping centres.