Friday 21 November 2014

Majority of people want fines imposed for jaywalking

Laura Larkin

Published 17/06/2014 | 12:03

AA Ireland spokesman Conor Faughnan
AA Ireland spokesman Conor Faughnan

A MAJORITY of people support the introduction of on-the-spot fines for reckless pedestrians who cross the road in a “zombie trance”, according to a new survey.

The AA asked almost six thousand people if they believe that pedestrians should be held to the same road safety standards as drivers and two-thirds of people agreed that they should.

Ireland has a jaywalking law that says that if you are within 50 metres of a pedestrian crossing you must use it to cross.

“In reality, anyone who has ever been a pedestrian in an Irish town will tell you that the rules are completely ignored,” said Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs with the AA.

According to the Road Safety Authority, almost two in five road deaths are pedestrians.

The AA believes that this increase can be attributed to the rise in the number of people using mobile phones and other personal devices.

People enter a smart phone oblivion’ when using mobiles on the go, according to the group and do not pay enough attention to traffic around them.

“Looking back through our motor insurance claims records it’s not usual to see notes such as man on phone stepped out in front of me’ or had to swerve to avoid cyclist with headphones’,” said Mr Faughnan.

The United States, Australia and Poland are among countries that already fine people for jaywalking.

Miriam O’Neill of the AA told the Herald that New York provided a prime case study of how jaywalking legislation could be enforced to maximise safety.

“There is smart thinking behind how they approach it, with the primary focus on accident black-spots and the busiest intersections,” she said.

The AA is likely to investigate how much people think wayward pedestrians should be fined, having established with this poll that significant support exists for the measure.

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