Check before you step
A new safety campaign is targeting dangerous distractions to pedestrians while crossing the road. Dangerous distractions include:
- Talking on mobile phones
- Wearing headphones
- Sending text messages
Other forms of pedestrian distraction include preoccupation with other things, conversing with other people, looking at something other than the direction of travel, pets, children, eating on the run, reading a book or newspaper, daydreaming, rushing to make a deadline or a meeting, attempting to find something in a handbag or backpack, etc.
The Check before you step (pdf. 25MB) campaign aims to reduce pedestrian accidents and challenges locals to take responsibility for their own safety when crossing the road.
The Roads and Maritime Services reported 146 pedestrian casualties across the seven council areas in 2011. Older pedestrians were of most concern, with 26% of all casualties aged over 60.
Distractions such as mobile phones and music played through earphones make pedestrians more vulnerable to traffic when stepping out from the kerb, as they can obscure vision or hearing and reduce concentration.
This pedestrian safety campaign is a joint initiative of Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Mosman, North Sydney, Pittwater, Warringah and Willoughby Councils, in conjunction with the Roads and Maritime Services.
The campaign will use internal and external bus back advertising, bus shelter advertising, shopping centre advertising, billboards at Lindfield, Chatswood and North Sydney train stations, newspaper advertising, outdoor flags, etc.
Safety tips for pedestrians
- Don't be distracted by mobile phones or music players
- Cross at marked crossings or traffic lights
- If you have to walk or run on the road, do so in the direction of oncoming traffic so you are more visible
- At traffic lights cross only when the pedestrian signal is green. Do not start to cross when the red light flashes
- Before you cross a road, think about whether a driver can see you
- Never assume a vehicle will stop for you
- Don't cross between parked cars or in front of buses
- Children eight years and under should hold an adult's hand at all times
- Children ten years and under should hold an adult's hand when crossing the road
- Wear bright or light coloured clothing at night or in reduced visibility conditions
Safety tips for drivers
- You must give way to pedestrians crossing the road if you are in danger of colliding with them, even if there is no marked pedestrian crossing
- Slow down on roads where there are likely to be pedestrians
- Don't assume a pedestrian has seen you and will wait for you to go past
- Older pedestrians may need longer to cross
- Children are difficult to see and may act unpredictably