Our media 2021-22
In the 2021-22 financial year we featured in numerous walking related media stories ranging from walking for health, recreation and joy to more serious road safety issues and walking research reports. We had many radio interviews, particularly on 3AW, ABC Melbourne and regional stations. It was pleasing to be regularly asked for comment by The Age, Herald Sun and television stations on walking related issues.
Here's a sample of some of the media coverage we were part of between July 2021 and June 2022.
The arrival of the Victorian Government’s e-scooter trial attracted a great deal of media interest, after widespread illegal behaviour. Of particular concern was the extent of illegal footpath riding, including by children, with many of the devices being ridden in a reckless and dangerous manner with relatively little enforcement. We were interviewed for numerous stories on 3AW, 7, 9, 10 and ABC News as well as A Current Affair.
Walker safety continued to attract media attention throughout the year. After releasing our Safer Urban Speed Limits position statement last year, we were pleased to be asked for comment in a Herald Sun story on Whitehorse Council receiving approval to have a 30km/h safer speed trial on Glenburnie Rd, Vermont (19 July 2021). It was great to see the Ballarat Courier publishing a feature (‘Pedestrian Pressures’ 9 September 2022) on the insufficient green walk time on many of Ballarat’s signalised crossings.
TAC style compensation for walkers
We led a call for the Victorian Government to extend Transport Accident Commission coverage to walkers hit by bikes, skateboards, scooters and other mobility devices – to put them on an equal footing with walkers injured in crashes with other vehicles. The Herald Sun ran a story (‘Bike compo push’ 5 October 2021) that was picked up by Neil Mitchell on 3AW and another 24 radio and television stories around the country as well as 23 online newspaper stories.
Getting to the bus stop
We were prompted to write a letter to the Editor of The Age (18 May 2022) after there was a big increase in road crashes killing or seriously injuring walkers and, disappointingly, Victoria Police’s media response was to focus on walkers using mobile phones, despite little research showing this is a major factor and 40 per cent of walker fatalities being aged 70 or older who are very unlikely to be using phones while walking.