BENDIGO police are urging pedestrians to take care this National Day of Action after data has revealed the alarming number of pedestrian injuries that occurred in the region in 2021, and the statewide pedestrian deaths which have more than doubled as of May this year.
"Pedestrians are featuring far too highly in the road trauma across the nation," Bendigo Highway Patrol Police Senior Sergeant Ian Brooks said.
"So our focus is about more protecting the pedestrians."
He said using our roads was a "shared responsibility" between pedestrians and motorists, with two main road issues causing concern to police.
The first was drivers being distracted by their mobile phones, the radio, or objects in the car while driving.
And the second issue was pedestrians walking or exercising on the edges of roads and being distracted by listening to music or podcasts on their phone.
"They're not being able to hear the traffic around them," Senior Sergeant Brooks said.
"And while it's not an offense as such it still creates an issue whereby, one of the people using the road is effectively unaware of what's going on around them.
"And then they don't have the ability to take extra care."
Senior Sergeant Brooks said pedestrians need to remove or minimise distractions while out and about and make themselves more visible as the weather changes and it gets darker earlier.
"Be aware of what you're wearing so that you've got some sort of bright clothing on so people can see you," he said.
The Senior Sergeant recommended pedestrians avoid walking around on overcast days when it's difficult for drivers to spot them.
"We're appealing to the pedestrian traffic to be as visible as you can," he said.
Statewide, in 2021 there was more than 1200 pedestrians injuries.
This year, 15 pedestrian have died on Victorian roads, compared to six at the same time last year.
This National Day of Action, highway patrol and general duties police officers across the state will be targeting pedestrian safety and distraction, which has contributed to several pedestrian deaths this year.
Victoria Police are supporting Walk Safely to School Day on Friday, May 20, as part of National Road Safety Week, and ask people to support their 'pledge to drive so others can survive' initiative by taking the pledge online, wearing a yellow ribbon lapel badge, yellow ribbon or displaying a vehicle sticker.
Senior Sergeant Brooks said pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings, and plan out their route while also keeping in mind that in country and rural areas there isn't always the best footpaths.
He said drivers also need to slow down and be aware because no matter what road they're driving on, there will be some vulnerable road user - be it a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist.
"Concentrate on your driving, concentrate on what you're doing," Senior Sergeant Brooks said.
"That split second of distraction could cost a life."
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