Senior Constables Hannah Patane and Ty Ellis keep a watchful eye during after school time at St Patrick's Primary School, Kilmore.

This year’s National Road Safety Week commenced yesterday, with a focus on pedestrian safety.

Running from May 16 to 23, the focus on pedestrian safety was sparked by the 28 pedestrian deaths in Victoria last year, as well as 14 deaths this year, compared to six at the same time last year.

This week will include the National Day of Action tomorrow involving police highway patrol units across Australia focusing on pedestrian safety. National Walk to School Day is set for May 20, with pedestrian safety again at the forefront.

Senior Constable Ty Ellis said it was important for both drivers and pedestrians to be alert when they’re driving near schools or areas with significant pedestrian traffic.

“The big thing with pedestrians is they walk around with their phones or their earphones in and they’re not looking at the road but instead at their phones while they’re walking around. They may not realise they could put themselves in danger,” he said.

“The other thing is that children are unpredictable, but while that’s the case they’re still just children. We, as the drivers, need to make allowances for that when we’re driving around suburban areas.”

Senior Constable Hannah Patane said distractions, particularly phones, were a problem for both drivers and pedestrians.
“From a driver’s perspective, the issue would be distraction, speed, and things like that when they’re driving around places like schools,” she said.

“Even [with] pedestrians we say that as well, with headphones and phones, it’s both of them together.”

For more information and to make a pledge to drive safe during National Road Safety Week, visit roadsafetyweek.com.au.

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