Festive Warning to Golden Mile Pedestrians

20 December 2013

Incidents of hair-raising pedestrian behaviour have soared on Wellington’s Golden Mile in the past couple of weeks – and someone could be killed or maimed by a bus or other vehicle if the casual attitudes of people crossing the road continue.

That’s the warning from Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Police in light of incidents reported by bus drivers and motorists in the CBD this festive season.

Wellington City Council’s City Networks Manager, Stavros Michael, says various frequent users of the Golden Mile, especially, have reported mounting concern to the councils. “It appears people are just relaxing and getting pretty loose in their road-crossing habits – luckily there have been no actual vehicle versus pedestrian incidents reported but the near-misses are stacking up.

Greater Wellington’s Public Transport General Manager, Wayne Hastie, says it’s probably not too hard to figure why the incidents have spiked. “The weather’s warmer so there are more people out and about, people are possibly either chilling out or, on the other hand, getting stressed and preoccupied with gift buying and the Christmas rush in general.

“You also have to factor in the probability that there’ll be more people out and about who’ve been partying it up – their concentration levels will probably be compromised.”

Inspector Donna Laban, Wellington Police District Road Policing Manager, says with high pedestrian numbers in the CBD, Police are encouraging shoppers and revellers alike to look both ways and to always use a pedestrian crossing.

Caution should always be used as some vehicles can be difficult to hear over other traffic noise or might be difficult to see before you start crossing.

“We want people to enjoy today's great weather and end of year events safely so they can get to spend quality time with their friends and family.”