Road safety is a two-way street. It is of course every driver’s responsibility to pay attention to the road – and look out for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users.

But is it time to also make it illegal for pedestrians to use their phone while crossing the road?

Pedestrian deaths have soared, according to the latest national road toll data.

In the 12 months to the end of March 2024, there were 174 pedestrian deaths recorded nationally – representing a massive 13.5 per cent of all road deaths.

Furthermore, the latest tally of pedestrian deaths is a staggering 38 per cent increase over the same period three years ago (from 126 pedestrian deaths in the 12 months to the end of March 2021 to 174 pedestrian deaths in the 12 months to the end of March 2024).

The situation has become such a concern to road safety experts and authorities, NSW Police have launched a pedestrian awareness campaign.

The grim advertisements show chalk marks around a body on the road – depicting a crime scene after a pedestrian has been struck.

Drivers of course must always drive with caution, but the rise in inattentive pedestrians at crossings – or crossing a busy road away from a designated pedestrian zone – has prompted renewed calls among some safety experts for pedestrians to take more care.

“Pedestrians, as a vulnerable road user, within reason have right of way, but that doesn’t mean they should put themselves in unnecessary danger, and it certainly doesn’t mean they can wander out onto the road without even checking for vehicles,” a high-ranking highly patrol officer told EFTM.

“A lot of pedestrian deaths involve drunk or drug-affected people trying to cross a busy road where there is no crossing, elderly people who can’t cross the road quickly enough or who try to take a shortcut by not using the crossing, but we are seeing a massive increase in young and middle aged people getting hit because they are on their phone.”

Police have even developed artwork to illustrate the point.

So, should it be illegal for pedestrians to be on their phone when crossing the road? Or would such a law be too difficult to enforce?

Let us know in the Man Cave