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Pedestrian horror

THERE has been an alarming number of pedestrians hit by vehicles across the Inner West – and figures show that casualties continue to rise.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne says that the council has delivered several road safety campaigns, many of which target pedestrians, but it seems the message is not getting through.
“Council has decided we need to up the ante,” he said.
To help reduce the number of accidents the council will: Investigate measures such as reducing speeds to 40km/hr in residential streets; identify trouble spots; and conduct a high profile education campaign targeted at high accident spots.
Data from Roads and Maritime Services, collated by the council’s road safety officers, reveals the Inner West local government area has the highest percentage of casualties amongst pedestrians as well as bicycle and motorbike riders.
The casualty rate of pedestrians in the Inner West is 11.8 percent, compared with 8 percent for the Sydney region and 6.1 percent for NSW.
Between 2011-15, on average 426 pedestrians were hit by vehicles on council roads – 85 people each year.
Three areas of concern for the council, are pedestrians aged 30-39 and over 70, motorcyclists aged 30-39 and drivers exceeding the speed limit.
Cr Julie Passas, says the council needs to educate newcomers and the elderly in particular, and get people to use care when using pedestrians crossings, because they are not an automatic safe haven – cars just can’t stop as quickly as a pedestrian.
“And we really need to start addressing mobile phone use in our society and the danger that it is presenting,” she said. “People get off the bus or step out onto pedestrian crossings without looking up and it’s just not safe.”