University university students told to take care crossing the road

Press Release – Auckland Transport
Auckland Transport’s new pedestrian campaign targets tertiary students returning to class urging them to take more care around pedestrian intersections.

Research shows students (young adults) are among one of the groups most likely to be in crashes involving pedestrians. Twenty seven per cent of all fatal and injury crashes in central Auckland involved a pedestrian.

With more than 38,500 students studying at the university and nearby AUT, the campus precinct is one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the CBD.

Talking on cell phones, chatting to friends, listening to music are all common distractions lowering people’s awareness of cars and changing traffic lights.

Auckland Transport Community Transport Manager Matthew Rednall says it is a real concern that many people are distracted when it comes to crossing the road.

“Walking is very much part of their daily campus life that we’re asking students not to become complacent but to be continually aware of the road environment.

“Just as risky is jaywalking and running to cross when there is no time to get across safely. It is worth waiting for the next light change or using the campus underpass instead.

“The campaign’s use of lifeguards is a fun way to get across a safety message to what can be a hard crowd to crack, says Mr Rednall.

Lifeguards dressed in bright orange will be stationed at intersections and in the University Quad interacting with the public.

• Although home to only 30% of the country’s population, the Auckland region accounts for 41% of the nation’s hospitalised pedestrians. On the region’s urban roads, pedestrians account for: nearly a third of road fatalities; one in six reported injury crashes; a quarter of the social cost of road crashes.
• Over the past five years there have been 733 pedestrians injured or killed in Auckland central
• Pedestrians are most likely to be hit crossing roads that are not at controlled intersections
• The social cost of pedestrian crashes for New Zealand is $290 million annually

About Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport is a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) of Auckland Council. It is responsible for all of the region’s transport services (excluding state highways) – from roads and footpaths, to cycling, parking and public transport.

Among its main tasks are:

• To design, build and maintain Auckland’s roads, ferry wharves, cycleways and walkways.
• Co-ordinate road safety and community transport initiatives such as school travel
• Plan and fund bus, train and ferry services across Auckland.

For more information go to www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz.

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