There's A Push For Distracted Pedestrians To Be Fined $200
Texting while crossing the road could soon land you in hot water.
The Pedestrian Council of Australia has called for pedestrians not paying attention when crossing the road to be slapped with a $200 fine -- even if they're crossing with the green light.
The group also wants the speed limit in CBDs slashed to 30km/h, increased crossing times for pedestrians, countdown timers fitted to traffic lights and scramble crossings to be introduced, which would allow pedestrians to walk diagonally.
The statistics paint a very bleak picture of road safety in some states.
In the 12 months to October, there were 1,185 deaths on the the road, 174 of those were pedestrian deaths. That's up from 161 the previous year.
Not only are a number of lives being lost, but road trauma is costing Australia about $30 billion per year.
PCA chairman Harold Scruby said the pedestrian road toll was going through the roof and had reached "epidemic levels".
"If you cross the road while looking at a screen or with your headphones in, you put yourself and others at risk because drivers have to swerve to avoid you," Scruby said.
But Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane of the road policing command told The Herald Sun Victoria Police are not considering further offences for distracted pedestrians.
There's reportedly been a similar response in Queensland.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey told the Courier Mail, the State Government was not looking at introducing new fines for pedestrians who cross the road while distracted.
On Wednesday, Brisbane introduced two new scramble pedestrian crossings in the heart of the CBD.
The crossings allow people to walk diagonally across the intersections of Albert and Charlotte Streets, as well as Albert and Mary Streets.
Other countries have started to take measures aimed at curbing pedestrian deaths.
In 2017 Honolulu became one of the first cities in the world to ban pedestrians from texting or looking at their phones while crossing the street.