Vic: TAC Blames Distraction For Spike In Pedestrian Fatalities Photo:
Trevor Collett | Jan, 29 2015 | 8 Comments

If you thought pedestrians choosing to walk around staring at mobile phone screens or wearing giant fashionable headphones were contributing to the road toll - you’d be right.

At least that’s the view of Victoria’s Traffic Accident Commission (TAC), which has revealed pedestrian fatalities in 2014 were up 22 percent.

The rise in pedestrian deaths is far beyond that of the overall road toll, which was up two percent to 249. Last year saw Victoria’s first road-toll spike since 2005.

A total of 44 pedestrians lost their lives on Victoria’s roads last year, and the TAC believes distraction is a key contributor to the rise.

"If you're on foot, be safe around roads - every passing car is potentially lethal and no text message is worth your life," Victoria’s Roads Minister, Luke Donnellan, said.

"Whether you're embarking on a long country drive, or just walking up to the shop on a Sunday morning, distractions lead to disaster."

The TAC has teamed up with Australian Open tennis organisers to promote pedestrian safety, with the event expected to see around 700,000 pedestrians through its gates over two weeks.

Meanwhile, Victoria Police have been patrolling pedestrian areas in Melbourne’s CBD, enforcing road laws and encouraging safe behaviour.

Besides distraction, risk for pedestrians rises significantly if you’re male as 73 percent of those killed last year were men or boys.

The over-70 age bracket represented 29 percent of deaths, with 68 percent of pedestrians killed lost their lives in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Sunday was the worst day of the week for pedestrian fatalities (25 percent), while 20 percent were killed between the hours of 6-8pm.

MORE: Raised Safety Platform Intersection To Be Trialled In Geelong
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Pedestrians | Victoria | Road Safety

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