Pedestrian Council of Australia
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health

The Walking Class Heroes


Monday 1 February 2017

DON'T TUNE OUT - Stop Look Listen Think
Pedestrian Council launches new mobile phone campaign

The Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA) in conjunction with the NSW Centre for Road Safety and SIRA (formerly the NSW Motor Accidents Authority) with the support of NSW Police has released a new campaign across TV and social media entitled "Don't Tune Out." Its aim is to shock pedestrians into understanding the deadly dangers of talking, texting and listening to music (often with noise cancelling earphones) while crossing the road.

"DON’T TUNE OUT: Stop, Look, Listen, Think" is a graphic campaign that highlights the lethal impact of being distracted by a mobile phone, not only when driving, but particularly when walking. The campaign aims to save lives and reduce serious injuries, especially in light of recent pedestrian statistics:

  • National pedestrian fatalities are up 14.2% from 2015 to 2016
  • NSW pedestrian deaths are up 20% from 2015 to 2016
  • NSW pedestrian fatalities have increased by 50% over the last 3 year average

PCA Chairman, Harold Scruby said: "Since the introduction of the smart-phone, this lethal behaviour has reached epidemic proportions, around the world. People wander aimlessly onto roads, utterly oblivious of the potential for harm. And while the green man may give pedestrians some form of legal protection, it offers no physical protection whatsoever, especially when you consider how many drivers run red lights, many of whom are also "tuned-out" on their phones. Our simple messages are: "Never use a mobile phone when crossing the road. Never cross against the red. Never trust a green light. And always: STOP - LOOK - LISTEN - THINK."

A US study in Seattle of 1102 pedestrians at over 20 intersections, found that nearly a third (29.8%) were distracted by mobile phones whilst crossing the street. Pedestrians were distracted by listening to music (11.2%), followed by text messaging (7.3%), and using a handheld phone (6.2%).

The study found the most absorbing distraction was texting. Compared with pedestrians who were not distracted, those who were texting took 1.87 seconds longer to cross and were four times more likely to not look where they were going, disobey traffic lights, or cross outside the pedestrian crossing.

Mr Scruby added "We have devised this campaign in order to shock pedestrians into realising that this misuse and abuse of technology is idiotic and potentially deadly and in doing so, transform this unprecedented behaviour."

The new online campaign can be viewed here