Pedestrians and motorists are being urged to be more cautious in Melbourne, with new data raising safety concerns for people who travel to the city these school holidays.
Already this year 10 pedestrians have been killed in Victoria with six of those people dying on Melbourne streets.
Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford urged pedestrians and drivers to take extra care, with school holidays increasing foot traffic and major construction projects adding more heavy vehicles city streets.
New data from Yarra Trams also reveals 52 pedestrians were knocked down by trams in 2018. Forty of these incidents were minor, 10 required the person being taken to hospital, and tragically, two people died as a result of being hit by a tram.
Busy CBD intersections remain hotspots for pedestrian incidents, with VicRoads data showing Melbourne’s most dangerous location is the intersection of Flinders and Swanton streets with seven crashes resulting in six serious injuries.
Pedestrian safety, particularly at busy intersections, is the focus of a TAC campaign at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which encourages pedestrians to ‘ditch the distractions’.
While driver distractions continue to be a major cause of road crashes in Victoria, pedestrian distractions are also a growing concern.
In 2018, pedestrians were the only road user group to record a total lives lost higher than the previous year, increasing to 37 from 31 in 2017.
Of the 37 pedestrian deaths last year, 32 happened in metropolitan areas and 20 of those were in speed zones of 60km/h or lower.
Injuries also remain a major concern with more than 3,000 pedestrians hospitalised with injuries in Melbourne between 2013 to the end of the last financial year.
The TAC will be at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until April 21 reminding pedestrians to keep their heads up and phones down when walking in and around busy areas, particularly the Melbourne CBD.
Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford said “No phone call, selfie, song or text message is worth taking your attention from the traffic – put your phone in your pocket when you’re crossing the street.”
“Melbourne is a hive of activity and development at the moment and we’re urging pedestrians and drivers to be extra cautious.”