A cruise ship passenger became the latest pedestrian to be hit by a bus in central Wellington yesterday.
The German tourist, believed to be in his 50s, was struck as he crossed Lambton Quay about 4.30pm yesterday. He flew five metres through the air and cracked his head on the road, a witness said.
Although he was bleeding from his injuries, fellow tourists asked that an ambulance not be called before helping him on to a bus bound for cruise ship MS Deutschland.
An ambulance spokesman said the man sustained only minor injuries and planned to be treated by a doctor on the ship.
On Thursday, a woman in her 20s was taken to Wellington Hospital with moderate injuries after being hit by a bus travelling towards Courtenay Place along Manners St, between Willis and Victoria streets. Police are appealing for witnesses.
One bus passenger who saw the accident said pedestrian barriers seemed to be the only answer to repeated accidents on the new two-way bus lanes in Manners St.
However, city council infrastructure director Stavros Michael said the council would not be rushed into "knee-jerk actions".
Pedestrian barriers were not completely ruled out but they did potentially have serious drawbacks, he said. "What happens if people go under the barrier and then get stuck there?"
Although some safety measures could eventually be introduced, including brightly coloured textured strips along the top of the gutters, it remained up to pedestrians to ensure their own safety while crossing the road.
"There is no way we can take everyone by the hand and take responsibility for the decisions that individuals make."
Wellingtonians' love affair with jaywalking was another reason the council was reluctant to put up pedestrian barriers, Mr Michael said.
"We are proud that we have a lot of pedestrians, that people walk from their houses to work, but because people feel so comfortable to walk around the city, some of them are getting a little bit careless from time to time."
Go Wellington Bus general manager Mark Williamson said the company would work with the council on any safety measures.
About a year ago the company introduced a policy for all buses to be driven with headlights and driving lights on.
- © Fairfax NZ News
How diligent are you when it comes to sorting roadside recycling?Related story: City recycling a juggling act for council