Campaign aims to keep pedestrians alive

Road users need to be predictable and visible, safety campaigners say.

Five pedestrian fatalities in Taranaki this year have sparked a road safety campaign.

"We've had a number of incidents this year and we don't want anymore," Let's Go spokeswoman Liz Beck said.

"The message is to be visible and be predictable," New Plymouth Injury Safe manager Te resa Gordon said.

Winter was the most dangerous time of year for road users and from sunset onwards the worst time of day, Sergeant George White said.

"When people were walking home at dusk or in the dark they needed to be extra careful," he said. "Wearing high-visibility vests would be ideal but not everyone wants to walk around lit up like a Christmas tree do they? Wearing brighter clothes rather than black is a good idea," he said.

Most road safety tips were common sense. "It's about using the rules you were taught at primary school. We see it all the time, people running across the road when there is a crossing just metres away. What's so hard about walking to the crossing?"

White said that while all road users were responsible for keeping each other safe, pedestrians needed to use underpasses and crossings rather than trying their luck running across the road.

"Use the underpass, that's why it is there because it's safer," he said. "When you're at a crossing don't assume cars will stop, wait for the car on your side to come to a halt and then when you're in the middle make sure cars on the other side stop before carrying on.

"It's not difficult, it's what we learnt at school."

Taranaki Daily News