In the last 10 years, more than 400 pedestrians lost their lives on Victorian roads, with one-third of pedestrians who lost their lives aged 70 years or over. *
The Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria has today called for a greater awareness of the risk to elderly pedestrians on Victorian roads given one third of the 400 pedestrians killed in the last ten years were seventy years and over.
74% lost their lives in metropolitan Melbourne, and most 67% were male. *
CEO of COTA Victoria, Tina Hogarth-Clarke said the combination of dark clothing, poor lighting, the dark wet environment of winter, the fact that older people may have limited vision impacting on their ability to judge speed and distance, can be a deadly combination.
“Being visible to drivers is a major safety advantage and COTA Victoria suggests wearing bright reflective armbands or wearing hi-vis vests for walking at night that can be picked up by headlights as safety measure for pedestrians.”
As part of its safety program for older Victorians COTA Victoria is promoting safety tips for older pedestrians.
- Wear lightly coloured or reflective clothing at night and brightly coloured clothing during the day.
- Stay in well-lit areas to cross the street.
- Make eye contact with drivers in stopped vehicles to make sure they see you before you cross in front of them.
- Don’t be distracted by smart phones or hand-held devices – stay alert and watch out.
- Don’t wear headphones as your ears will tell you what is happening around you.
- Know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals which are designed to keep you safe.
- Use intersections with traffic lights or a pedestrian crossing to cross the road where possible.
- If these are not available find a well-lit area and wait for a long gap in traffic to cross safely.
- Always walk on the footpath, if a footpath is not available, walk in the far side of the road facing traffic to increase your visibility to drivers.
- Plan your trips out and if possible, try to arrange vehicle transport at night for safety.
Common types of crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths between 2014-2018 involved the pedestrian:
- crossing the road and being struck from the near side (54%)
- crossing the road and being struck from the far side (18%) and
- playing, working, laying or standing on carriageway (8%)*
Source * TAC
For more information on pedestrian safety visit the COTA Victoria website at https://cotavic.org.au
Ron Smith, Media Communications, COTA Victoria – Mobile: 0417 329 201