Age Concern Otago communication manager Niall Shepherd
crosses the road in the Octagon this week. Photo by Peter
Older pedestrians in Dunedin are more at risk of being
hit by a vehicle on a fine weekday afternoon, Age Concern Otago
communication manager Niall Shepherd says.
Dunedin City Council data revealed 45 pedestrians older than
65 were injured by vehicles when crossing a Dunedin road
between 2008 and 2012, Mr Shepherd said.
The injuries included 23 minor, 21 serious and a fatality, he
Most of the older pedestrians were struck on the near side of
the road on fine weekdays between noon and 3pm.
The time of injury could be because more senior citizens were
in town before the free travel on buses finished at 3pm.
Some pedestrians were getting older and slower and vehicles
were getting faster, quieter and more numerous. Age Concern
Canterbury research revealed that Christchurch pedestrians
who were older than 60 had accounted for 60% of pedestrian
deaths in the past 18 months.
The most dangerous time for a senior pedestrian in
Christchurch was on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in
winter, between 4pm and 8pm, on the far side of the road.
''They are probably taking a little longer to get across the
road. Maybe, they are walking a little bit slower and their
perception of time and distance and speed comes into play,''
Mr Shepherd said.
''The road can be clear as you start to cross ... but by the
time you get to cross to the second half, a lot of time has
He was unsure why senior pedestrians in Dunedin were being
struck on the near side of the road.
''Whether it's people ducking out between parked cars, or not
looking or assuming that people will give way to them, I
Reduce the risk
• Cross at traffic lights or zebra crossing.
• Do not cross between parked vehicles.
• Never assume an approaching driver has seen you.
• Watch for turning vehicles at intersections.
• Be vigilant when crossing near a curve or hill crest.
• Be aware you might take longer to cross than you used
• Avoid peak traffic times.
• Be seen by wearing bright or reflective clothing.
• Be patient in heavy traffic.