‘Truly tragic’ pedestrian death tally

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Watch out: Police are warning road users to take greater care, with 28 pedestrian deaths recorded in Victoria so far this year. Photo by Megan Fisher

Pedestrian deaths this year have reached the same number as for all of 2021, as police warn all road users to take greater care.

There have been 28 pedestrian deaths for the year up to Tuesday, July 19, with 10 recorded in June alone.

So far this month there have been three pedestrian deaths, with the latest an 85-year-old Coburg man who was hit on Tuesday morning in Coburg.

Victoria Police has previously spoken about its concern over the trend, with winter especially high risk because it is darker earlier, and poor weather reduces visibility.

Police said awareness of your surroundings had never been more important for both pedestrians and drivers, with inattention one of the main contributors to pedestrian deaths this year.

Taking extra time to ensure you can cross safely, and slowing down in high-pedestrian areas to reduce the incidence and severity of crashes, is critical in reducing these tragic events, police said.

Pedestrian deaths are up in both regional and metropolitan areas.

The five-year average for pedestrian deaths at this time of year is 19.6.

Road Policing Command Acting Assistant Commissioner Justin Goldsmith said the fact that Victoria had already equalled pedestrian deaths for all of last year was “truly tragic”.

“This trend is of enormous concern to me and my members and we will be doing all we can to prevent further loss of life,” he said.

“To this end we ask all road users to look out for each other.

“Inattention is a key factor in pedestrian fatalities – motorists need to remain focused behind the wheel and avoid distractions, and pedestrians need to look up, pay attention to the road and ensure it’s safe to cross before doing so.

“One mistake is all it takes for someone to be seriously injured or worse.”