NSW police are pleading for people to take extra care when crossing roads following an alarming rise in the number of pedestrian deaths this year.
There have been 38 pedestrians killed on the state’s roads so far in 2012. That’s 18 more than the same period last year.
Acting Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Stuart Smith spoke of the problem today during a press conference attended by Harold Scruby, chairman of Pedestrian Council of Australia .
“We’re calling on road users, including pedestrians, to exercise caution but those calls are falling on deaf ears,” acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.
“The loss of 38 pedestrian lives is tragic and heart-breaking for their family and friends, especially when their deaths could easily have been avoided.
“The pedestrian road toll is almost double what it was for the same period last year. ''
Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith cautioned pedestrians against the use of mobile phones and digital media players, like iPods, when crossing the road.
“These devices pose a significant safety risk as they distract pedestrians from what’s going on around them ,'' he said .
“If they are talking on the phone, sending an SMS or listening to music, they might not see a vehicle coming towards them or hear the sound of a car horn.
“Pedestrians need to take extra responsibility for their own safety by crossing at traffic lights or marked crossings, obeying the road rules and being aware of their surroundings.’’