Bicycle Network: Behaviour
Pedestrians as hazards
With greatly increased rider numbers in the CBD, the casual indifference of pedestrians at red lights has created a new risk for bikes
Pedestrian walk into trouble
15 December 2011. Hundreds of pedestrians have been fined in a police operation to cut crashes in the Melbourne CBD.
Pedestrian related injury collisions are on the rise in inner Melbourne with a total of 278 in the Melbourne and Yarra zones during 2010-2011.
The blitz, Operation Don’t Do Your Dash, had hardly started when a pedestrian was critically injured when she stepped in front of a bike near Parliament House.
Initial media reports incorrectly blamed the bike rider, however the police reported the pedestrian was at fault. Unfortunately the rider was also injured and taken to hospital.
Riders should take care in the CBD especially, and ride with an expectation that pedestrians are in the habit of breaking the law and stepping out in front of you.
Police concentrated on high risk areas including the intersections at Flinders and Swanston streets, Swanston and Latrobe streets, and Spencer and Collins streets.
Pedestrians caught crossing streets dangerously were fined $61.
Melbourne Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Stephen Wilson said the operation was about reducing pedestrian-related road trauma.
“State-wide 46 pedestrians have died on our roads this year – a 28 per cent increase on last year.
“Pedestrian-related collisions continue to be our biggest road trauma challenge in the Melbourne CBD, and other busy inner suburban locations such as Richmond, Fitzroy and Collingwood.
“This operation is about reminding pedestrians to always be vigilant when crossing roads.”
Distracted by phones
Sen Sgt Wilson said police were continuing to see significant issues with distraction in pedestrian-related road trauma.
“People are simply not concentrating. They are looking down at mobile phones, tablet computers, MP3 players and other devices,” he said.
“A lack of concentration could cost you your life. We are urging pedestrians to be aware before they are crossing the road – not looking up half way across.”
Sen Sgt Wilson said that a police review of pedestrian-related collisions in the Melbourne CBD found that:
• Pedestrians were at fault in more than half of all collisions
• Alcohol was a factor in a number of collisions
• More than a third of pedestrian road trauma victims were aged 21 to 30
• Most pedestrian collisions occurred Monday to Friday in business hours.
What is the law for pedestrians?
• If you are within 20 metres of a pedestrian crossing you are required by law to use it. (Fine $61)
• It is an offence to cross the road at a traffic light when the “red man” light is on. (Fine $61)
• When crossing the road you must use the safest and shortest route - it is an offence to walk improperly across the road. (Fine $61)
Peds dash for fines
11 May 2010. Red light running pedestrians continue to pose a threat to law abiding bike riders in the city, if the result of a recent blitz is any guide.
More than six hundred pedestrians were nabbed during Operation Don't Do Your Dash, a three day TAC-funded police exercise.
Melbourne Traffic Management Unit's Senior Sergeant Simon Stevens said he and his members were pleased with the behaviour of CBD pedestrians, but said some people still do not comply with the road rules.
"Pedestrian crossings and lights are in place for a good reason, "Sen Sgt Stevens said.
"They are there to ensure you cross the road safely, and if you think about it, it is quite simple.
"We hope that this operation has put Melbourne's focus back on road safety."
Pedestrians still out of step
1 July 2009. A repeat blitz at CBD intersections has confirmed that pedestrians continue to create hazards for riders by ignoring the red.
A spokesperson said Police are disappointed by the number of pedestrians still not getting the message and choosing to risk their life when they cross the road.
After the first day of new a week-long pedestrian blitz, police issued 191 $57-on-the-spot fines, 68 warnings and spoke to 263 people.
A further four pedestrians were arrested for failure to confirm their ID after being caught illegally crossing the road.
The main offences detected were for crossing the road against the red light and jaywalking to and from various tram stops.
Police will continue to run the pedestrian safety operation until Tuesday 7 July.
Major intersections targeted include Flinders and Swanston streets, Flinders and Elizabeth streets, Collins and Swanston streets, Lonsdale and Elizabeth streets, Collins and Spencer streets, and Bourke and Spencer streets.
Police blitz peds on red
19 May 2009. Contrary to expectations, almost 400 CBD pedestrians were nabbed for defying the red light in a four day police blitz, far more than the number of bike riders caught.
During the blitz last week, which the media inaccurately described as targeting bike riders, 392 pedestrians were caught crossing the road against a red light and received a $57 on-the-spot fine.
Seventy-two cyclists were issued with a $227 on-the-spot fine for riding through a red light.
The figures confirm that city streets have become increasingly hazardous for bike riders as pedestrians develop the habit of ignoring traffic signals and stepping into the path of bike traffic.
And the figures show that the public perception of bike riders flouting red lights en masse is not backed up by the evidence.
During the intensive four day police campaign more than five times as many pedestrians than cyclists were caught running the red.
Police issued more than 550 penalty notices during the four-day blitz on pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in the Melbourne CBD.
Ninety-three motorcyclists were caught for offences including riding through a red light, failure to wear a helmet and riding an unlicensed bike. Fines range from $57 to $227.
During the operation, police issued a further 311 penalty notices for motor car traffic offences, including failure to wear a seatbelt, talking on the phone, or driving an unlicensed vehicle.
Police targeted city intersections including Spencer and Collins Streets, Spencer and Bourke Streets, Elizabeth and Flinders Streets, Flinders and Swanston Streets, and Swanston and Collins Streets.
Senior Sergeant Shane Pettingill from the Melbourne Traffic Management Unit said police were alarmed by the number of people continuing to put their lives at risk.
“People don’t seem to understand that they’re risking their lives every time they cross the road against the red man, dart between cars, or ride through red lights.
“People may think they are invincible but it only takes a split second to be involved in a collision and if there is a car or tram involved, a pedestrian or cyclist is going to come out worse off.”