Cops crack down on common road mistake
IF YOU don't cross the road on a pedestrian crossing or when the green man appears on the traffic lights, you're technically breaking the law.
Jaywalking is seen as a minor offence and is rarely enforced, but police in Sydney's CBD issued more than 350 fines to pedestrians and cyclists who broke basic road rules on Monday.
Police fined 94 pedestrians for jaywalking and 148 cyclists for a range of offences including disobeying traffic lights, riding on the footpath and not wearing a helmet. They also issued 62 fines for "other" traffic offences.
The fine for jaywalking in NSW is $75 and cyclist fines range from $112 to $448. If you choose to contest the fine and take it to court you could be slogged with a $2200 fine.
The crackdown, dubbed Operation Pedro, was in response to a recent wave of fatal crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians. Six cyclists and 44 pedestrians have died on NSW roads as of July this year.
"We have been conducting Operation Pedro since 2014 as a way of educating the community about the importance of all road users doing the right thing," Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Michael Corboy said.
"This should come as a reminder for everyone to take personal responsibility for their actions on the road.
"City traffic is full of many challenges and distractions for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, so we want to do everything possible to ensure that we reduce road trauma."
Last month, Brisbane City Council introduced video surveillance cameras in busy CBD intersections to spy on jaywalking pedestrians, as part of a major review to improve pedestrian safety.
The move was in response to several accidents involving pedestrians early this year.
"I think we all need to remember to pay attention to the environment that we're in, we need to be taught how to cross the road safely as children, we need to also to continue to remember to be looking around, we've got electric vehicles on the road now, they're very, very quiet vehicles - almost silent," Brisbane City Council Infrastructure chairwoman Amanda Cooper told the ABC.
"People need to be paying attention; not just listening for traffic but looking for traffic as well," Ms Cooper said.
The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland wants pedestrians who cross the road while looking at their phones to be fined.
June figures showed 16 pedestrians in Queensland had been killed this year, compared with 10 people over the same time period five years ago.
"We think that sort of offence is on its way. There's no doubt about it," spokesman Paul Turner told the ABC.
"You stand at one of those intersections in the CBD for half an hour and you'll see five or 10 people just being saved or stopping themselves from walking out into traffic because they were looking down at their phone," Mr Turner said.
"When you tap them on the shoulder and they look up it's as though they've been in some sort of daze because they are so engrossed in their phone.
"We haven't spoken to the authorities about the idea of a fine, but it is really an issue which has come to the fore in Queensland in the past few months with so many recent deaths."