Ballarat police are urging the community to be mindful while travelling on the roads so the region can continue the recent downward trend in pedestrian injuries.
In recent months there have been a number of incidents involving elderly pedestrians.
On Friday morning a woman in her 70s sustained lower body injuries after being hit by a car on Sayle Street, Sebastopol. She was transported to Ballarat Base Hospital in a stable condition.
Meanwhile an elderly man, riding a mobility scooter, died following a collision with a car in Ballarat on December 31.
He was taken to hospital but died at his home on January 6. The police investigation is continuing.
According to Victoria Police, in the rolling 12 months (January 2019 - January 2020), pedestrians have been involved in a number of accidents across the Ballarat and Moorabool police service areas.
During the aforementioned period, 40 pedestrians were either killed or injured in this region. However, with a five year average of 41, in the past 12 months, the region is tracking below the five year trend.
Of those impacted, at least nine people were seriously injured, and this is well below the five year average of 15.6.
Meanwhile, while there have been seven pedestrian deaths since 2011 across the region, one pedestrian has died in the past 12 months.
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The group most over-represented in these figures is those above the age of 66.
Ballarat Highway Patrol's Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale said that with an ageing population, it was important for the community to be aware of elderly pedestrians, including those on mobility scooters.
Five years ago, Acting Senior Sergeant Gale said a trend was that of the elderly reversing out of driveways and striking their partners. Another has been parents striking their children.
Now that the summer weather has arrived, police expect more vulnerable road users, including the elderly, on mobility scooters, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists as well as people travelling on skateboards and scooters to be on the roads.
These road users are especially susceptible to injury if involved in a road accident, due to the lack of protection and so police have urged the community to slow down and take their time when behind the wheel.
Drivers need to focus more and slow down as there are more people out and about. Kids are back to school now so the roads are busier.Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale
Police also want drivers to be aware that mobility scooters generally travel at a faster pace than a walking pedestrian. While pedestrians are legally required to stick to footpaths, he said one particular problem area of pedestrians using the road as a footpath was on Latrobe Street.
While the rate of trauma has decreased slightly in the past 12 months, Acting Senior Sergeant Gale said there was still room to improve.
He said that pedestrians were also responsible for their own safety and should reduce the distractions associated with mobile phones, including utilising headphones which lessen situational awareness, when walking or crossing roads.
"It is not just up to drivers to be aware and take evasive action but also up to pedestrians to walk appropriately on roads and use footpaths when available," he said.
Western Region Senior Sergeant Ben Young said police wanted everybody to safely arrive where they want to go and so it was important for all road users to make a commitment to being safe, as road trauma is not an issue that the community can police itself out of.
"Ensure that you are not distracted whilst driving, do not drive whilst intoxicated, tired or upset, maintain situational awareness and refrain from using electronic devices such as phones and iPads," he said.
"Respect other road users and acknowledge your responsibility to them as well as your passengers as the person in control of the vehicle."
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