Not such a bright idea

11 Sep 2019

Victoria Walks was surprised when the Council on the Ageing (COTA) recently played fashion police and called for older people to wear high visibility clothing at night, amongst other measures.

Although older people do make up a high proportion of the pedestrian road toll, in Victoria twice as many older pedestrians are killed during the day rather than at night.

While some older people may have physical limitations that make it more difficult for them to cross the street, they usually compensate for that.  The higher road toll among older pedestrians is mostly due to their increased frailty - if they are hit by a car their bodies are more easily injured and they take longer to recover than younger people.

Victoria Walks has researched this issue in detail and believes attention would be much better placed on improving driver behaviour and safer street design - see our report Safer Road Design for Older Pedestrians.

The suggestion that older people should wear high viz did pique the interest of the media, with coverage from  Nine News and 7News, both including comment from our Excecutive Officer, Ben Rossiter.

Perhaps to their credit however, Ten News was not taking the bait.  When we asked if they were following the story, they told us "nah, we're not covering that one, it sounds like a silly idea."