Stop texting while walking, Vic Police say

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A surge in pedestrian deaths have now seen the Police warning students returning to school today to get off the phone, unplug those earphones from your iPod and look while walking.

Victoria Police believe that MP3 players such as the iPod, mobile phones and other electronic devices have started to become a distraction for pedestrians, with statistics showing a sharp rise of pedestrians being killed on Victorian roads each year.

City traffic Inspector Greg Parr said that pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings.

“Having your iPod earphones plugged in and the volume at maximum means you won’t be able to hear car horns of emergency vehicle sirens,” Parr said. “Similarly, if you’re crossing the road and staring at your mobile phone sending text messages or updating your Facebook status, it means you’re not going to see a vehicle approaching until it’s too late.”

“A crash that only dents the front bumper of a car can leave a pedestrian with life threatening injuries,” Parr added.

This year, only 37 pedestrians were killed as a result of collisions with vehicles, while last year saw the 59 people killed. More than half of those killed last year were on roads that had a speed limit of 50 km/h or 60 km/h, while 30 percent had a blood alcohol limit of .05 or more.