Pedestrian injuries on the rise in Bendigo

A spike in serious injury collisions involving pedestrians in Bendigo this year has sparked pleas from police for residents to take more care on the city’s roads.

Pedestrian related injuries in Bendigo rose by nearly 28 per cent during the first 10 months of 2016 and Bendigo highway patrol senior sergeant Ian Brooks said the statistics demonstrated the need for far greater awareness from all road users.

“Drivers need to be aware of pedestrians and travel at or below the speed limit, especially around shopping centres and schools,” he said.

“Likewise, pedestrians need to go back to basics and look left and right before crossing the road. Even if you are at a marked pedestrian crossing, make sure the vehicles have seen you and stopped before you step onto the road.”

Senior Sergeant Brooks said the biggest concern for police in Bendigo was the over-representation in the statistics of people over the age of 65, 12 of whom were injured this year, including eight who suffered serious injuries.

“In every case, they were struck in speed zones of 50 km/h or less,” he said.

“The message is clear, all road users need to be more vigilant. Whether it be in a vehicle or on foot, we must be aware of what is happening around us.”

In response, Bendigo police will step up enforcement around pedestrian safety in the lead-up to Christmas and run an education campaign for older residents as part of the forthcoming Operation Redman.

“With the assistance of numerous community and government groups we will be providing pedestrian safety information to older members of our community,” Senior Sergeant Brooks said.

“Our aim, and the aim of our community, is for everyone to share our roads safely.”

Operation Redman last ran in Bendigo in June, when police issued a total of 60 penalty notices in 48 hours.

The majority of the fines were handed to pedestrians for failing to obey traffic lights, while three drivers were fined for using their mobile phones, one person was fined for littering and another for failing to wear a bicycle helmet.