“Podestrians” beware


In the 1970s when Walkmans first appeared, there was a rise in concerns for pedestrians, particularly young people and school-goers, who were listening to their music whilst walking and inevitably removing their ability to hear oncoming traffic in doing so.

The latest technologies, musically with the I-Pod and in communications with the mobile phone, are currently causing similar concerns to resurface, as young people are increasingly likely to be involved in traffic collisions because of being distracted by one or both of the above.

One insurer has cited one in 10 accidents are being caused by children, teenagers or young people who fail to hear vehicles approaching or are not aware of their presence, causing a sharp brake resulting in a hit-in-rear collision.

In New York, the problem has become so common that one member of the New York state Senate has called for fines of $100 to be handed out to the offending “podestrians”. In New South Wales, Australia, advertisements showing the dangers of listening to your I-Pod or MP3 player have recently been aired.

Pedestrians should always be aware of the traffic around them and should make every attempt to be vigilant on the roads as traffic volumes increase year-on-year.

This article was written by Jo Milne of the RTA Team.

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