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Government Needs To Act For Our Safety Say Walkers

"Government Needs To Act For Our Safety" Say Walkers

Living Streets Aotearoa President, Celia Wade-Brown, says the Government's Road Safety Policy Statement doesn't go far enough.

Shorter journeys will only be walked more rather than driven when people feel safe on foot. These "cold start" journeys contribute disproportionately to NZ's greenhouse emissions because engines run inefficiently before they are warmed up. Walking also contributes to mental and physical health, alertness and makes friendly neighbourhoods.

Tolerance of excess speed must be reduced, not just round schools, which is a first step, but elsewhere - or are children only allowed to go to and from school?

The way traffic can turn while a pedestrian has a green light increases danger but there's no move to change the legality of this operation.

Why has the Government resiled from banning cellphone use while driving?

"It's not just the physical distraction, it's the sense of the driver being absent from the real driving situation. Trying to catch a driver's eye as a turning cyclist or pedestrian waiting at a crossing is MUCH more difficult if the driver's on the phone."

"The study Transport Research Laboratory (UK) carried out for Direct Line insurance company, published in March 2002, showed that even a hands-free phone impaired reaction times MORE than being at the legal limit of alcohol use. Social pressure is against drink-driving and the majority of people are against phone-driving."

"It's bad enough that drivers texting or talking don't indicate or change gear appropriately because their hands are full. They are not concentrating on the road so they won't notice dangers and can't brake early enough. Using a phone in a moving car is not safe and must be banned." says the councillor and mother-of-two.

"Our children need to be safe enough on our roads to walk or cycle to school and to their friends or family. Elderly people must feel free to walk to the shops while they can, without the risk of being bowled because someone is chatting on their mobile. "

ends

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